RE: Architectural Review
From: Alexander Robin A (
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 13:50:04 -0800 (PST)
Excellent points. I have had the whole range of experiences with neighbors in 
my life, and one of the great things about cohousing is that there is at least 
the will to deal with differences positively. If communication with a neighbor 
is difficult, then that's an issue that the group can help with. One can try to 
escape the need to work constructively with each other by setting up rules to 
cover every contingency, but I agree that that's a futile approach.

Robin Alexander
Eno Commons cohousing

From: Amy Dwyer
Sent: Fri 1/28/2005 12:02 PM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Architectural Review

I just can't understand why this would be regarded as a "problem" since in any 
other neighborhood, you would have essentially no say in any other's dwelling. 
AND, wouldn't you have many more problems with your neighbors in a different 
non-cohousing neighborhood? One of the greatest assets of cohousing, in my 
view, is the ability and freedom to safely communicate with those in your 
neighborhood (or "our little valley," as my son calls our cohousing community) 
If, for instance, there is an offensive sign 4 feet from your livingroom 
window, could you not just ask the neighbor at the next meal to switch it to 
another location? Possibly, they may have something that they would like to ask 
of you. "Rules" that try to regulate aesthetics seem futile, and 
anti-cohousing. If you are the type of person who is easily annoyed, no rule is 
going to eliminate everything that offends. So, that's my two cents. I live in 
Wasatch Cohousing, SLC, and we are a clustered, attached unit townhome 


Amy Dwyer
Office Manager
KRCL 90.9 FM
1971 West North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT  84116
(801) 363-1818

>>> jimkacki [at] 01/27/05 08:24PM >>>
I can't offer specific advice on your situation, Sharon, but your 
problems highlight the fact that for developing communities, it would be 
good to agree during the planning / design process, what the overall 
environmental /visual/philosophical concept is that you are striving 
toward, and put in writing as a set of 'design guidelines' for the 
initial designs as well as for future modifications / enhancements  to 
the development.

> -- Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:
> Do people have architectural review policies that regulate what people 
> can do outside their units -- neon signs, dog kennels, hammocks, 
> attached sun shades, etc.
> We need to review ours and have little agreement beyond things that 
> violate fire and building codes or directly infringe on a neighbor's 
> space.
> We now have hanging on various porches and overhangs, Buddhist flags, 
> American flags, macrame hangings, wire bumblebees, sun blinds, extra 
> locks on doors, planters, political signs in windows (perpetually), and 
> signs on doors (mottos), etc. Various of these things bother some 
> residents more than others but each of them is objectionable to 
> someone.
> Please note whether your community is a lot development model or 
> attached multi-household dwellings. It makes a difference when you 
> neighbor's offensive object is 40 feet or 4 feet away.
> Thanks,
> Sharon
> -----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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