Hope spring is treating you well. If you're looking to live in community, and would like to live in a vibrant, walkable, urban location... read on as Washington Commons may be for you. NOW is the best time to join and become an Explorer!

Hope to meet you at an upcoming event soon,

- Anne, Maggie, Loretta, Stu & Janet, Stu & Willa, MaryAnn & Herb, Ruth (the Washington Commons Core Group)
Flowers blooming on the site of our soon-to-be cohousing community
In this newsletter...
April 12: Creating a Culture of Cohousing: How Architecture Creates Community
April 18 and 28: Site Tours & Neighborhood Walks
17, 24: Coffee Tuesdays in Davis
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.” Meet Member Ruth Ghio

Welcoming new core group members Stuart & Willa Pettygrove
We Ask Katie McCamant, "What do you think of our site?"
It's a big decision, so become an Explorer Member to see if living in cohousing is right for you.
What do you need to know to take your next step?
Come to a site tour. Come join us for coffee in Davis Tuesday mornings. Come to our Culture of Cohousing evening discussion April 12. Ask your questions. Get answers. Become an Explorer member and dig deeper. This is the time! If you have been thinking like we have about the importance of community and about the potential of being part of the first cohousing community in West Sacramento – Now is the time to get involved.
Upcoming Events
Join us for a great discussion this Thursday evening
Creating a Culture of Cohousing:
How Architecture Creates Community
April 12th from 6 – 8 pm
Light refreshments provided
Soon we will begin the architectural design process. Join us for a discussion of the criteria we will use to select our architect. We will be talking about how architectural design – the design of the community spaces we will use – will affect how we will create and support our community. How will we create a welcoming, friendly space for our community events – large and small – and provide the personal private spaces of our individual condominium flats.

Our evening discussions have been enjoyable and informative. We have learned from each other and gotten to know each other. Come be a part of the dialogue.

RSVP to Maggie Borowiak at or on Meetup.
Come out and see the site!
Site Tour, Neighborhood Walk & Talk
Saturdays, April 14 & 28, 10am
Meet at 4th and G Streets, West Sacramento
Our Saturday morning site tour is a great way to see our special location and envision the kind of structure and community that we will be creating together. It’s also a great way to meet others and through questions, answers and discussion get a better idea of what it is like to be “in community”. We will outline the development process, the estimated costs and how to become a member and get involved. It is a great time to get your questions answered.

On April 14, our neighborhood walk will be along the Sacramento River to the Crocker Museum where we will continue the discussion of what’s involved to make this happen.

On April 28, we will walk along the Sacramento River and visit a nearby ice cream shop and sit at outside tables to continue our discussion.
Coffee AND Cohousing? Yes, please!
Join us for Coffee @ Mishka's
Tuesday mornings in April
April 17, 24th from 9:30-10:30 am
Mishka's Cafe in Davis ( directions )
Join us for coffee on Tuesday mornings in April from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Mishka’s in Davis. We’d love to meet you! 

This is an opportunity for one-on-one conversations -- for us to learn about your specific interests in cohousing and Washington Commons -- and to help you get a better idea of who we are, what we are proposing and how you can become involved to help us create Washington Commons. 

We will be picking different coffee houses in Downtown Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis in the months ahead. If you have favorite one you’d like us to visit, let us know!   
Meet Our New Members
Ruth Ghio
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”

I had just joined Washington Commons and this quotation fit my experience exactly. I had never lived in a community with people I have never met; I had never been involved in the design and building of a four-story building and doing it with a group of people I don’t know.

Cooking meals together, meeting and making decisions together, and using consensus in making decisions are all new to me. I clearly want something I never had, and now I am involved in a lot of things I have never done.
What inspired me? The other people who are involved, my excitement in the possibility of living my values, concerning land use, how we use the resources of the planet, our relationship with all the other species who share the Earth with us and learning new communication skills, that I believe will enhance all my relationships.
Stu and Willa Pettygrove
The Pettygroves have lived in Davis since 1979, which makes them old-timers in more ways than one.
After busy careers, both are now retired: Stu from a position as Extension Soils Specialist at UCD, and Willa from consulting, after completing a Masters in City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. They met at Cal and have been married almost 49 years. One daughter is a community organizer in Southern Oregon; the other is analyzing tree mortality data for the US Forest Service in Vallejo.
Long term interests for both got their start at Berkeley. Stuart is active in Citizens Climate Lobby in Yolo County and loves to backpack. Both are very involved in the Davis Friends Meeting (Quaker), Willa as librarian and Stuart as treasurer. Willa is also an avid gardener and textile artist.
Their interest in cohousing came initially from Willa’s housing policy background, including a course at Cal with Architect Clare Cooper Marcus. Both are committed to more efficient use of resources, including their own time and energy, their carbon footprint incidental to living in an urban environment, and conservation of land.

Editor’s additional note: Stu is an avid bicyclist and led our first bicycle tour in February. He promises to organize additional bicycle events – watch for an announcement soon :)
We Asked Our Cohousing Consultant Katie, "What do you think of our site?"
"It’s a great site – close to so many attractions including the Sacramento River with its growing network of walking paths and downtown Sacramento. It’s a very viable project because it fits in with what the City of West Sacramento is planning – a high density, walkable, bikeable, transit friendly community ...
There is much less risk with this project because there is no need to change the zoning. Additionally it is flat and there is no need for significant site improvement: this makes it a relatively straightforward development project.

Some people may be nervous because the neighborhood is in the early stages of renewal – there are vacant properties, not everything is complete. But this is the time to be a part of a new emerging urban environment .

In fact, the City of West Sacramento is moving expeditiously to support new infill development in this neighborhood with major new water and sewer infrastructure.

In 10 years people will wish that they’d gotten in earlier on West Sac. A great example of this is the Durham Central Park Community : this community got in just before the big developers started tying up properties in the neighborhood... they are so glad they got their location when they did.
We are fortunate to have Katie McCamant, President of Cohousing Solutions, as our consultant and advisor. Katie has been at this since the beginning. She and her previous partner, architect Chuck Durrett brought the cohousing idea to this country in 1987. Katie has been involved in numerous cohousing endeavors in California, other states and abroad.
Our site is just a walk or bike ride from...
Nature trails along the Sacramento River, the Crocker Museum, Tower Bridge, Raley Field, The Barn event center, Off the Grid food trucks, great restaurants, delicious farmers' markets, and so much more!

See photos below of some of the great amenities our site has to offer...
It's a Big Decision...
So Become an Explorer with Us!
Become an Explorer member and dig deeper. 

This will give you the opportunity to become involved, participate in our business meetings (as a non-voting member), get to know the group and see how we work together.

You’ll be given a binder of our materials including an extensive preliminary budget and other information about the development process. Additionally, you will receive a copy of “ Creating Cohousing” written by our expert consultant Katie McCamant in partnership with Chuck Durrett. We will brief you on these materials. 

Explorer membership is $250. If you become a full member within 6 months the $250 will be deducted from your initial membership investment of $2,000. 
National Cohousing Open House Day - April 29th
Several cohousing communities in Northern California will be opening their doors for visitors on National Cohousing Open House on April 29. 

As we “go to press” the communities nearest us include: Nevada City Cohousing and Pleasant Hill Cohousing. Additionally, Fair Oaks EcoHousing will have site tour that day. For the latest list of sites, go to .

Visiting cohousing communities is a great way to get a good idea of what cohousing looks like on the ground. We expect to have some field trips to nearby communities in the near future. Watch our Meetup site for upcoming dates.  
Photography Month in Sacramento
Sacramento’s photography community through the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center is organizing the first biennial Photography Month Sacramento. Exhibits are planned in several venues. 

Go to for a listing of events. 
Mark your calendars
Washington Commons Business Meeting – May 7, 2018
(Open to Members & Explorers)

Site Tour & Neighborhood Walk May 12

Culture of Cohousing Evening Discussion – May 17
For more information on Washington House Cohousing, please visit our website and check out our meetup page .