Re: thought needed on zoning problem
From: Jeff Zucker (
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 18:14:02 -0600 (MDT)

Jill Robinson wrote:

> The Greenfield, MA cohousing project was instigated in part to preserve
> an
> historic farm from commercial development.  There is a big movement
> afoot in the town to rezone this farm from rural residential to
> commercial in order to build an office park with some light industry.
> Members of the
> cohousing group find themselves in the position of arguing why an office
> park, which would bring tax revenues to the town, is bad while a
> cohousing community, which would drain fiscal resources from the town,
> is good.
> The argument being used against our proposal is that a 'subdivision' of
> residential homes costs a town roughly three times more than it brings
> in
> in revenues.  The costs are primarily for schooling the children of the
> community, but also include police & fire protection, snow plowing, etc.
> Any thoughts or countervailing arguments that cohousers have to support
> our
> case would be appreciated.  What we've come up with so far are:
> 1)   Cohousing communities generally require much less in the way of
> police intervention that the average neighborhood.
> 2)  Cohousing neighborhoods are designed to have a diverse mix of
> residents' ages, from single young people through families to elders.
> Because of this the number of children in the community is often less
> than
> that of an average subdivision.
> 3)  For cohousing communities here in the Pioneer Valley of Western
> Massachusetts, 1/3 to 1/2 of the children attend private schools or are
> home schooled.
> 4)  People who live in cohousing are generally very civic minded.  In
> the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community in Amherst, MA, there are nine
> adults presently serving on the elected Town Meeting, out of 36
> households. Many others serve on boards of directors or volunteer in
> organizations.
> We are giving a public presentation to the Greenfield Town Council on
> Tuesday, May 7th.  Please send your comments to Tad Montgomery:
> tad [at] or at work: (413) 774-7248.

    If you are able to provide a mixed use neighborhood within the current
or future zoning, you may be able to not only satisfy both of the
objectives mentioned above, but also provide a very rich live/work
environment for the residents.

Jeffrey L. Zucker   A.I.A.
Zucker  Architecture
282 Jacob Lane
Prescott Az.  86303

(928)  445-8531

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