Re: Another unsuccessful attempt
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 13:06:14 -0700 (PDT)
Jerry — I’m so so sorry to hear about this.  This is, indeed, a painful 
juncture for a group and its members.

I’m wondering if you would be willing to share with us the challenges you faced 
as a group.  I see that financing was one of them.  Did you, for instance, try 
to find a developer but were unsuccessful?  If so, why so you think that was?

What was the group’s development strategy?  In addition to Diana Leafe 
Christian did you retain the services of other cohousing professionals? 

Was your site owned by one of the members?  Or did you purchase it outright?   
At what point in your development time line did you purchase it?

Excuse the geographically challenged here (that would be me) … Viroqua is a 
very small town.  Is it close to other population centers?  Do you think the 
more rural nature of the area contributed to the challenge of enrolling people 
in your project?

Not to be a Pollyanna about it all — but I am — from the ashes rises the 
Phoenix.  THIS iteration of your cohousing community didn’t make it.  There are 
many ways of establishing a cohousing community.  Even an EcoVillage.  I would 
urge you to look at the other models of collaborative living that are 
affordable and doable for your group and do that.  While purchasing a tract of 
land and building from scratch is certainly ONE way to create cohousing it is 
by far not the only way.  And not the most affordable way.   

I remember the loss of my first love, Jerry.  Not a pretty site was I.  I know 
your disappointment firsthand.  Happily, I went on to have many more loves.  
Just like you will, too.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

> On Aug 25, 2015, at 12:55 PM, Jerry McIntire <jerry.mcintire [at]> 
> wrote:
> Sad but true, the rural cohousing group that we were part of in SW
> Wisconsin has decided to disband, sell our property, and wish it had turned
> out differently. We never had more than five member households. Despite the
> interest of a couple more prospective members, we grew tired of hoping for
> seven more (we've been at this for six years) and were not able to finance
> the development of lots on our own. Despite careful attention to the good
> advice in Diana Leafe Christian's book, Creating a Life Together, the
> market does not seem ready for cohousing here.
> Our twelve acres with an existing house will be for sale very soon, about
> $215,000, though one member family is negotiating to buy two acres and
> build their new home because the location is wonderful. That would leave
> ten acres and a house, at a lower price.
> This has been the most disappointing experience I've had since the loss of
> my first love at 15. Thank you to all of the helpful members of this list
> who have answered so many questions and shared so many informed opinions
> over the years. Onward and upward...
> Jerry McIntire
> Former project manager
> Stone's Throw Ecovillage
> Viroqua, Wisconsin
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