Welcome, Co-Housing Neighbors

The Blue Ridge Cohousing project was approved by the Albemarle Board of Supervisors on Wednesday night.

What is Blue Ridge Cohousing? 

Blue Ridge Cohousing is a group of families working to establish cohousing in Crozet near Charlottesville in beautiful Central Virginia.

What is cohousing?     

Cohousing neighborhoods combine the advantages of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living, including shared common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors. These intentional neighborhoods, created and managed by residents, offer an innovative solution to today’s environmental and social challenges. 

I am curious to learn more about the project, and the “car-free” design of the neighborhood.

Their development goals are goals that would be good to be adopted by more than just co-housing projects:

– Environmentally sound construction
– Includes affordable housing
– Includes housing for disabled residents
– Houses are visitable to the disabled
– Homes should be $150K to $400K

Learn more at their website.

Hat tip: Cvillenews
Do any readers have first-hand knowledge of this development?

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5 Replies to “Welcome, Co-Housing Neighbors”

  1. Jim – I was there and will have a summary of the approval posted later on today. I would have it sooner, but it’s been an especially busy week this week with six meetings to attend on Tuesday!

  2. As a three-year resident of a different cohousing community, I can say that the car-free element of the neighborhood makes a huge difference to us. My daughter can ride her trike completely safely. Neighbors run into each other on the walkways and stop to chat. Parents can sit on their front porch and chat with their friends as the kids run safely from yard to path to yard. We have spontaneous grillouts on the walkways, and generally have a lot of fun without the danger or worry of a car around. Sort of like living in college, without the wild side. Perhaps the way small villages used to be.

  3. Cohomom –

    Thanks so much for commenting. What are the downsides? How much work/effort is it to maintain this idyllic state you describe? How do you ensure that people who buy there buy into the concept and aren’t just looking for an affordable house?

    I think the concept sounds very intriguing – certainly not for everyone, but appealing to many.

  4. Well, it’s not all flowers and rainbows. Moving in means committing to a certain amount of workshare per month (ours is 5-10 hours per household per month). This is to keep the HOA dues low. There are meetings, just like a church or other community organization would have. That part is not much fun, though one of my neighbors refers to it as “eating her broccoli” and I can see it that way, too.

    Good question about buying into the concept rather than wanting an affordable house. There are two ways that I see this happening, both based on the architecture. The first is the pedestrian nature of the community– some folks won’t want to walk to their cars. Additionally, the houses are smaller than most homes. Building smaller is more “green” and it’s not really a hardship in cohousing because of the shared community house, which has guest bedrooms that members can use for guests, a kids room, large room for entertaining, etc. I have a husband and two children, and I view my 1800 sf house as being slightly larger than we need, because we have so many other resources at hand.

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