Re: Alexandria VA wants to group cohousing with Boarding houses - please speak up
From: Chris Roth - Communities Editor (
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:19:56 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Ann and all,

Thanks for your further message. You will probably be interested to hear that I did get a very courteous and thoughtful letter back from Alexa Powell. I will not forward that to the whole list because she did not specifically give me permission to do that. But I hope I am not breaking any news embargoes by revealing that, according to her email to me, the name is going to be changed away from "cohousing" at an Open House meeting scheduled for April 20. In a possible excess of caution, I'm not comfortable leaking the new name prior to that announcement other than to say that it's not cohousing. :-)

It sounds as if the proposed changes to their code would not generally affect actual cohousing, which can already be achieved through traditional site plans under the town's ordinances, since each unit has its own cooking facilities. What this initiative is opening up is the possibility of unrelated people living together with only shared kitchen facilities on a site if they so choose, something that would require a "full-hearing SUP" to achieve right now. I don't totally understand what that means but it sounds as if she's working toward some really worthy goals and has also taken the feedback about terminology to heart, with the results soon to be revealed.

Thanks again,


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2021 20:03:49 -0400
From: Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]>
To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Alexandria VA wants to group cohousing with
        Boarding houses - please speak up
Message-ID: <8465A618-72E7-47DE-96CD-3C5A2598DC40 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=utf-8

Hello Chris and all ?

First, no one owes any apology for anything regarding this thread on the misuse 
of the term ?cohousing.?

Second, anyone is free to write or say anything to anyone they like about 
"cohousing ? ? altho' it would be useful if we had a unified definition or 
language in describing cohousing?s niche place in the housing market.  Truth is ? 
what and when anyone writes is actually none of my business.

Chris, thank you for writing to Ms. Powell.  You wrote a very good email to 
her.  It was especially good as you were able to show your credentials.  (This 
does not mean everyone has to have ?credentials? to write about cohousing.  If 
you are thinking about, beginning a group, building a community, or living in 
cohousing ? you have credentials.) I applaud you, Chris, for taking a stand in 
keeping the definition of cohousing ?clean.?

Becca is correct ? if we don?t speak up when we see a misuse of the term the 
misinformation will continue occluding the unique, innovative housing model 
cohousing is.

So easy to muck it up!  (That?s ?u-c-k" w/ an ?M? as in ?Mary? ? just in case ?)

In the "Case of Alexandria, Virginia, Misusing the Term Cohousing?  I was concerned 
that nothing go astray as I want to cultivate Ms. Powell for future cohousing projects.  
?My" concerns got in the way.

I still wonder if it is possible to coordinate our responses to create the best 
effect when answering these misuses.

In re: timing for posting emails ? my emails always seem to post long after I 
send them.  W/ Fred?s help I figured out writing in a word processor then 
cutting, copying and pasting into the email is not a good thing. WAAAY too big 
for our email server to handle.   So for longer emails I?ll compose in plain 
text and then export the plain text into the email.

For the previous email I sent w/ information about my writing to Ms. Powell ? I 
wrote that directly into the body of the email.  So I don?t know why that one 
was held up.  The ways of the digital universe are deep and mysterious.


Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Member, Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

Do you ever get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and think ? 
?That can?t be  accurate.?

NOTE: I am switching back to: zabaldo [at]  Many apologies!

Chris Roth
Editor, Communities
81868 Lost Valley Lane
Dexter, OR 97431
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