We've spent the last six months working intensively, and have a lot to report. There will be a quick flurry of more specific blog entries here on a lot more of the details, but first, a quick overview of where we stand now, since our blog entry last fall.
Our group has been meeting regularly for about four years, but we've now reached that critical place where things are starting to happen very fast.
Like many other forming cohousing groups, we spent several years meeting and pot-lucking, building a core group of intended neighbors, and doing our homework, about cohousing, about consensus training, about ourselves, about the process of moving from wishful thinking to action, and about the real estate possibilities in and around our local area.
So, quick summary, what we've accomplished so far:
2008-fall 2009, up till our last blog entry
- Held our first weekend retreat in 2008: Consensus training with C.T. Butler
- Wrote our vision statement--that statement of our core values upon which all our consensus decisions are based.
- Began collecting our team of professionals: real estate agent, housing consultant, group process consultant, attorney
- Formed a fluid group of small committees for accomplishing much of the work we must do to take this from dream to reality
- Developed a membership process
- Continued looking at real estate
- We have found several properties that are very good possibilities, and are doing the work of finding out which will work best for us.
- Green Haven is now incorporated. This is the entity which will form and construct our cohousing community; it will dissolve once we move into our new space and form a new legal entity of those living in the community.
- We had our second weekend retreat, in February 2010: Review of formal consensus for members and intro for prospective members. C.T. Butler was our consultant again, but this time we did the training and used him to observe and critique.
- We are actively looking at architects and expect to begin interviewing and screening within the next few weeks.
- On Sunday April 11th, we will have a design programming workshop from 3 to 8 pm to generate ideas and preferences from both members and potential members (that means you) for the types of spaces and square footage for the cohousing homes and common spaces. This is to develop input for the selected architect so that preliminary work can begin quickly. Save the date. Place to be determined. More on this in another entry.
- We have an active marketing committee working on ways to get the word out. Our brochure is going to the printer this week. Our website is finally moving forward (but your help is welcome).
- Most of our members have become lenders to Green Haven, Inc., funding our payments to professionals, deposit on the property, etc.
- Our policy & procedures and membership committees are working together to review our membership process, updating and tweaking it as we learn from our prospective members actually going through it.
- The programming workshop April 11th. Whether you intend to move in, or are just interested, you are invited. We want the input of a lot of different possible community members, so that we design a space that will attract and serve families, couples, and singles beyond our current cadre of members.
- More information about our members, prospective members, and our professionals. What incorporation means. How this interfaces with consensus decision making. Possibility for renting.
- More about the property, once we have an accepted offer and are in our "due diligence" phase, which is to say: getting professional evaluation of the property, the buildings, soil testing, working with architect, presentation to the town, going through zoning, etc.
- Our vision and values, and what this means for our community, and for decision making by consensus.
- The membership process: what it involves, how to get started.
- And much much more....