Cohousing: Working to create a community | SierraSun.com

Cohousing: Working to create a community

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Members of Truckee’s proposed cohousing development are coming together to create a new kind of community.

Cohousing, a cooperatively planned neighborhood of individually owned homes and communal spaces, will likely come to the area as part of the Hilltop development by 2010. CoHousing Partners, a company based in Nevada City, is consolidating a core group of households to push the project forward.

“We’ve been talking people through what is involved in design, operating procedures, and financial involvement, and 12 of the 13 households we’ve been working with are interested in moving ahead,” said Rick Mockler, vice president of CoHousing Partners.

This group of households will be responsible for working with developers and architects in creating the community, as well as recruiting others to fill out the rest of the 32 proposed homes, Mockler said.

He said Truckee’s core cohousing group was a diverse one.

“We have a mix of singles, parents with young children, and parents with children who have moved away,” Mockler said. “And there are all types of folks like artists, entrepreneurs, chefs, a professor, and retirees.”

The interested parties have decided to spend two to three months getting the word out to the public through a variety of meetings, flyers, and outreach, Mockler said.

While the project awaits approval with the rest of the Hilltop plan, Mockler said the core group would be a part of the design process.

Cole Butler, a local architect and a member of the Truckee Planning Commission, is one of the future residents.

“I think the opportunity to live in a cohousing neighborhood is unique because of the social fabric ” not only is the building interesting but the neighbors are willing to get along and participate,” Butler said.

She said the level of interest and participation so far has been high.

“In a workshop, the majority of people started as strangers and by the end had made progress and established friendships,” Butler said. “There was a lot of excitement.”

– A site visit of the proposed location is scheduled for Saturday at noon behind the old Cottonwood Restaurant, followed by a trip down to Nevada City to tour an existing cohousing community, meeting in Nevada City at 2 p.m.

– A slide show and informational meeting is scheduled at the For Goodness Sake meeting room for Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.

– A community building workshop where the core group of households will discuss their vision and values will be held Jan. 21, and will cost $500, which will be refunded in the purchase of a home.

For more information, call CoHousing Partners at 487-1970, or on the Web at http://www.truckeecohousing.org and http://www.cohousingpartners.com.

By the numbers:

– Cohousing site acreage: 2.75

– Number of proposed homes: 32

– Price Range for homes: $290,000 to $600,000

– Completion date: Early 2010