Re: Design review
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2013 07:18:26 -0700 (PDT)
On Jun 9, 2013, at 9:25 AM, T William Smith <twswdwrkr [at]> wrote:

> Although we have not yet completed construction,
> folks are already planning changes, improvements or additions to their
> houses.  Clearly, we need a Design Review process, and sooner than later!
> Do any of you have reccomendations of how to proceed?

We don't have a good one and what we have is not enforced. As time goes by, 
there is less and less attention paid to even the idea of over all design 
standards. Those who moved in after 3-4 years have no connection to any of the 
initial discussions about design that consciously or unconsciously guide the 
actions of the original members.

So all I have is advice. Get some standards fast. Start with all the principles 
you used to make the initial decisions. We didn't write ours down so they no 
longer exist.

Have a feature that triggers review automatically because no one will want to 
be the policeman themselves.

Don't say that only "permanent" changes need review. Nothing  is permanent. 

I happened to care a lot about design and to believe that clean design 
contributes to a more peaceful and orderly community. 80% of the people in the 
world, even in cohousing have not a clue that such a belief even exists, much 
less shares it. Or agrees on what clean design is.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have 
any..." Alice Walker

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