Re: Cardiff Place Cohousing
From: Alan Carpenter (
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 12:34:51 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Chris and others;

Thanks for including me. Here are my thoughts on Cardiff Place:

The physical design may have something to do with it. On the other hand I
think one important factor for Cardiff Place is the commitment to a good
consensus process. From what I heard this process was never working for
Cardiff Place. There seemed to be a lot of debate about issues instead of
having a process that effectively works through the issues. As a result of
struggling to reach agreement  they ended up going to a majority rule
system to make decisions. I believe that one of the keys to sustaining a
sense of community is having an effective decision making process that
results in resolving issues.

Another value that I believe we can learn from Cardiff Place is the
importance for members to commit to agree to community principles and
values. As I talked with people from Cardiff Place I heard often that there
was opposing values about how to make decisions and how to use consensus. As
new members joined opposing values developed about whether this was just a
condominium project or a Cohousing community.  It is important to have clear
agreements about these basics and to ensure that new members make these
agreements. In that regard I will add to what Gary from Robert's Creek says
about orientation of new members. Cardiff Place seemed to be just
selling homes instead of selling community. They did not seem to have a
process to orientate all new members that joined the community to ensure
that the beginning values around sustaining a sense of community were passed

Watching Cardiff Place and other groups have been a great teacher for me on
the importance of being clear on values, participation and oreintation of
new members.

I hope this helps the discussion.

Regards, Alan Carpenter

On 8/8/06, Chris ScottHanson <chris [at]> wrote:

Cardiff Place is 17 units.  Completed in 1994.

One of the very DIFFERENT aspects to the project was that it took
only about a year from selecting a site until move in.  We purchased
a "project" that was already permitted and ready to start construction.

Another aspect is that it is a three story apartment building style
development with double loaded corridors on the two upper levels.
There is no pedestrian street, per se.  Don't know if that might have
had an impact.

If anyone hears the story I would love to know more.  I have not been
in touch with anyone there for more than ten years.

I wonder of Alan Carpenter would know anything?

Chris ScottHanson

Cohousing Resources LLC
Ecovillages, Cohousing & Sustainable Communities
Development and Consulting for a Sustainable Future
   based on the Natural Power of Community

PO Box 1288
Langley, WA 98260

(360) 321-7850 new office
(206) 260-2800 eFAX
(617) 894-7661 Boston cell

On Aug 8, 2006, at 6:26 AM, Rod Lambert wrote:

> Stacia,
> I visited Cardiff Place a number of years ago and thought it a bit
> tenuous then. I wonder if it lends weight to the believe that
> cohousing is more robust if there are at least 20 units? (I believe
> Cardiff Place was around 10 units?) The leaving and arriving of
> people has less impact in the larger neighborhoods.
> Rod Lambert
> EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY, US
> <<
> Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 11:36:57 -0700
> From: "Stacia Leech and Gary kent" <garykent [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Cardiff Place Cohousing
> To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at]>
> Message-ID: <000501c6ba50$7cd6f4d0$6500a8c0@murphy>
> Content-Type: text/plain;     charset="us-ascii"
> Hi Ann:
> I understand that Cardiff Place cohousing no longer calls itself a
> cohousing community.  The story I heard was that the original
> membership
> and vision became diluted with each new resident to the point where
> the
> cohousing vision was lost.  The pressure of the escalating real estate
> market in Victoria seemed to be a factor.
> Our community really sat up and paid attention to our new resident
> orientation process when we heard this.
> Cheers, Stacia.
> Roberts Creek Cohousing, B.C. Canada.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Warm Regards, Alan Carpenter

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