Re: Bylaws, Policies & Agreements
From: Kathy Icenogle (
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 08:48:09 -0800 (PST)
Thank you very much for the answers (so far)... helps a lot.


On Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM, David Heimann <heimann [at]> 

> Hello Kathy,
>         We have developed a "Living There" guide that has policies that
> are short of the Master Deed and the Bylaws level.  We also maintain a
> Decision Log of policies we have adopted by consensus.
>         As Ken Winter has said, we also empower our committees to take
> actions on their own within their charters.
> Regards,
> David Heimann
> Jamaica Plain Cohousing
> Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2014 19:29:50 -0500
> From: Ken Winter <ken [at]>
> To: Cohousing-L List <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Bylaws, Policies & Agreements
> Message-ID:
>         <CABV8-Abt6jjmMk+z8QRTZxm6Nm3r7eDV0PXgYzejF_3V+
> iRQdQ [at]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> What we have that I think is in the spirit of what you call "policies" is
> empowered committees.  Each committee has a charter (established in the
> Bylaws or, more often, the Book of Agreements).  Each charter empowers that
> committee to take specified actions and decisions on its own, without
> requiring the approval of the community.  We also have established conflict
> resolution processes, whereby people who think a committee has overstepped
> its empowerment or made a bad decision can appeal the committee's action.
> When a conflict can't be settled by communication, mediation, and
> negotiation, the ultimate court of appeal is the whole community - but most
> issues are resolved before they get that far.
> That's what we do - theoretically.  The reality is, of course, messier than
> that. But to a considerable (and increasing) extent, as we learn from our
> messy experience and get better at it, the model does work.
> ~ Ken, from Sunward Cohousing
> On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM, Kathy Icenogle <kathy.icenogle [at] 
> wrote:
>> Do any cohousing communities have anything called Policies?
>> It doesn't seem like a community should have to amend Bylaws or get
>> consensus on an Agreement every time there's a need to formalize something
>> like a business policy.
>> Our Condo Declaration (CC&R's) gives our Steering Team the power to adopt
>> Policies, with due notice and comment of the community at large... So, I'm
>> wondering where policies fit into the cohousing picture...
>> If you have Policies in your governance, how they are different from
>> Agreements?   ( Given the difference in how they're created, it's
>> important
>> to be clear on the difference. )
>> Thanks,
>> Kathy
>> Washington Village (
>> Boulder, CO
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