CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | April 2022
Cohousing takes a village, but
begins with one burning soul
A whole community of people with different talents create cohousing, but they are often formed by Katie McCamant or burning souls. Burning souls tend to be your initiators, cheerleaders and heart. We don't want to negate the hard work of cohousers; every member helps their team succeed, whether it's on a committee or a special skill they possess. However, we want to highlight some particularly special folks in groups at every stage of community formation.
Burns Village & Farm:
Got land!
John Patrick grew up on a farm, but found himself seeking a more sustainable way. As an adult, John and his spouse Rebecca moved into Blueberry Hill Cohousing, three years after it opened. Their community partnered with the adjacent Potomac Vegetable Farms to prevent suburbanization, by building smaller and smarter. John said the farm and cohousing were completely separate entities, but many young people from Blueberry Hill had their first job working the farm.
When John and Rebecca moved to Tennessee, they ended up missing the community found in cohousing. John unpacked his traditional house in Tennessee and thought 'oh my gosh, where is everybody?' Blueberry Hill Cohousing was an agrihood before the term existed, but they couldn't find anything like it in Tennessee, so they decided to form Burns Village & Farm. They secured farmland from a four-generation family and hired McCamant in 2021 to help develop the land. Though they've been in the works for a couple of years, COVID-19 provided some setbacks for relationship building. The team's motto: preserving farmland, one neighborhood at a time.

John can usually be found at the Richland Park Farmers' Market on Saturday morning, tabling for Burns Village & Farm, if not another member. To prep for their Kick-Off Workshop April 30 - May 1, Burns Village & Farm is distributing ads through Nashville Scene, Edible Nashville and WPLN Radio. Sign up for Burns Village & Farm's newsletter, or follow their Facebook & Instagram to keep up!
Mission Peak Cohousing:
Jane Mueller went to one of McCamant's cohousing workshops, and immediately thought 'I wanna live in a place like that!' Her and six friends rallied to build something special, with the conviction that people are better together.

In early stages of group formation, Jane and her fiancé Doug Ford were diagnosed with cancer. Through their rough patch, Evelyn LaTorre brought over dinner with dessert to ease the stress. LaTorre noted how much easier this would all be when they lived just a few doors down a beautiful example of community blossoming before move-in.
Mission Peak Cohousing Village hired CoHousing Solutions to assist with their development and marketing. The group recently began the design phase with Gunkel Architecture for their community in Fremont, California. Jane said they frequently looked to Mountain View Cohousing for inspiration, and to tour/entice prospective explorers with the help of a successfully developed community so close to home. Mountain View taught Mission Peak to build as many units as possible. With only 19 units, there were enough people to make cohousing work, but the fun aspect suffered. To avoid the same mistake, Mission Peak aims to build 32 units.

Even though Jane is Mission Peak's go-getter, she was very adamant about giving credit where it's due. She said her fiancé Doug contributed experience with forming a successful community in San Jose that still stays in touch. Evelyn LaTorre, a former member of the Peace Corps always offers help, while Sandi & Dick Pantages offer value through their fantastic relationship building skills. Learn more about their wonderful team by attending an event or registering for their newsletter. The team will submit their designs for planning approvals by summer 2022!
Washington Commons:
Building community
Anne Geraghty became fascinated with cohousing after she met a Muir Commons member through work. She remembers her instant attraction to the idea of someone else cooking for her.

Anne highly recommends conferences to help you decide what you admire or dislike about other groups. She attended conferences in Boulder, Salt Lake City and Portland, to pin down her cohousing wants and visit real communities.
After scouting many communities, Anne realized if she wanted an urban cohousing community near family, she would have to make it herself. The first group disbanded, because everyone's vision did not align. Anne and one remaining member hired McCamant, to help find land and launch a viable community. With McCamant's support, they found a site for Washington Commons in West Sacramento, California a walkable up-and-coming urban neighborhood.

Though Washington Commons has been in the works for many years now, Anne related her passion for cohousing to her uncle the artist. He always told her if you don't need to wake up every day and art, you're not an artist she feels this way about organizing. Anne loves to organize and connect with other people. "I'm lucky to have a passion and a purpose, a lot of people my age don't," Geraghty said.

The group now prepares for construction, with room to welcome a few more households. You can find Washington Commons at the Northern California Regional Open House, or reference their events page to keep up.
Gamers to their core
Some people are gamers and some are not. No matter your age, we encourage the spirit of healthy competition! Nevada City cohousers can often be found with board games in the common house, where all are welcome to draw a chair for some harmless fun.
I'm working in another state from May 1 to October 1, so I'm looking for someone to sublet my room at Nevada City Cohousing. The community is welcoming, thoughtful and health-oriented. There are no particular religious, political or belief affiliations. Community members work on the garden together, cook common meals, play games and much more.

The room is $700/month or $800 for a couple. Small pets are okay. The room will be pre-furnished with a bed, furniture, kitchen stuff, internet, utilities, laundry, parking space, guest house, work garage, pool, hot tub, game room, etc. My roommate (owner) is a super chill, welcoming and awesome 65-year-old woman, with the calmest dog I've ever seen. My experience living in cohousing has been amazing. It's vibrant, supportive and heartwarming. There's always room for personal space.

This is a great chance to experience Nevada City Cohousing and get to know the locals. My room is a 7-minute walk to the center of Nevada City and a 7-minute drive to South Yuba River.

Call or text me for more information!

(859) 445-8929
Seeing is believing
SEEKERS: Are you interested to learn more about cohousing? Are you are looking for a community in a particular part of the US? National Cohousing Open House Day is a fantastic opportunity to visit them! Some communities are offering live events, please see community specific COVD-19 precautions. Others are offering virtual events, says one attendee of previous year’s open house day "I took full advantage of the move to zoom and visited eight communities in one day; this year, I am helping to host …"

COMMUNITIES: An Open House is a great way for a community to share about their specific community, what makes them unique and what cohousing life is like. We encourage individual communities to host a virtual meet and greet, post a tour video, give tours of your property or host an outdoor gathering. Multiple Communities representing a regional group may want to host an online panel discussion or a introduction to cohousing talk at a public venue.

To REGISTER your community as participating for this day, click here
Northern California's Open House
April 23, 1:00 - 2:00 pm PDT
If you only care about what's going on with cohousing in Northern California, we've got you covered. Several communities in Northern California are partnering for an Open House Zoom session. The session will start with an introduction from Katie about cohousing, and the latest trends. After, each community will go into their updates before accepting questions. Please join us to hear from some of our nearby groups! Participants include:

  • Washington Commons - broke ground in November 2021
  • Southside Park - moved in 1993
  • Fair Oaks EcoHousing - moved in 2020
  • Auburn Cohousing - forming
  • Wolf Creek Lodge - moved in 2012
  • Nevada City Cohousing - moved in 2006
  • Truckee Cohousing (TBD) - reforming
Save the date: National Cohousing Conference

The Cohousing Association has announced the next In-person National Cohousing Conference will be August 25-28, 2022 in Madison WI. These conferences offer a wealth of information and connections for anyone interested in cohousing and any stage of cohousing (seeking, forming, and long-time living in cohousers). We look forward to seeing lots of new and old friends there.
We're Here to Help
We provide development consulting services to help you create your sustainable neighborhood. Our team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and we have helped create dozens of successful communities.
Our newest venture involves training passionate cohousing entrepreneurs through the year-long 500 Communities Program.
CoHousing Solutions
(530) 478-1970
Know someone who would like this newsletter?