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Can anyone join the community?

Yes.  Washington Village willingly adheres to Fair Housing regulations.  So, anyone can purchase a home in Washington Village, regardless of their interest in cohousing.  All owners are members of the community.


Prospective buyers are given an opportunity to meet existing community members and understand expectations regarding community membership.  We hope that residents will be motivated to participate as members of the community, but we have no actual means of enforcement, beyond what is provided in our Condo Declaration.  


Are there any age restrictions?

None.  Washington Village was established as a multi-generational community.  Not only do we welcome residents of all ages, including children, but we also look forward to meeting the family and friends of residents and including them in social activities when they visit.  


Who makes decisions? Does every decision have to be unanimous?

Decisions are generally made by the consensus of community members who choose to participate in the decision making process.  This does not mean that every decision will be unanimous.  It means that objections will be heard and an effort will be made to modify proposals based on objections that are justified.  In the event that a decision is needed and consensus cannot be reached, a decision may be based on a   vote of  members present or represented by proxy.  


Will I have any privacy?

Definitely.  Washington Villagers value privacy just as much as social interaction.  The layout of the property has been designed to strike a balance between having sufficient privacy within each home, and creating opportunities for social interaction outside of our homes.  Your home is your private domain to share with others, inside or outside of the community, as you see fit.  


Do I have to like everyone?

As in any healthy community, members are expected to be tolerant and respectful toward others.  Aside from that, you are free to build (or not build) friendships with whomever you choose.  Some members are very private individuals and many only feel comfortable with a few friends in the community, whereas other will form friendships with everyone.  As in other areas of life, individuals will create their own balance between a personal life and a social life within the community.  


Do I have to invite everyone in the community to social activities that I plan?

Any social activity you host in your home is your personal business and you can invite (or not invite) whomever you want.  Cohousing communities tend to have plenty of activities that are open to everyone in the community, so no one should feel left out, just because you didn't invite them to your party.  


Who is in the community? Do I have anything in common with them?

Even though we don't have everyone moved into their units at Washington Village, we already have about half of our community members identified.  These are just a few of the interests that community members have in common so far (in no particular order):

  • playing with children

  • hiking, skiing, running, and bike riding

  • golf and tennis

  • cooking and nutrition (membership includes vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters willing to share recipes and food interests)

  • meditation

  • yoga and Thai massage

  • creative writing

  • reading and talking about books (there's book club)

  • gardening (flowers and vegetables)

  • woodworking (woodshop on site)

  • wine tasting and oenology

  • studying ancient cultures

  • travelling (both U.S. and international)

  • music (guitar, piano, ukulele, drums), audio recording, attending concerts

  • theater and dance (both performing and attending)

  • drawing and painting (watercolor, pastels, acrylic, collage)

  • pottery

  • photography

  • quilting, crocheting, and other fabric arts

  • jewelry making

  • Native American feather craft

  • walking dogs

  • bird watching

  • watching movies (both at home and in theaters)

  • playing cards and other games, and doing puzzles


Imagine having friends who like to do things you like to do who are living just a stone's throw away from your front door.  Having others readily available to engage in fun activities with you is one of the main benefits of cohousing. 


How do you handle conflicts between members?

Community members agree to make a sincere effort to peacefully and reasonably resolve any conflicts that may occur between themselves and other community members.  If mediation is required, support for mediation is available within the community.  If necessary, disputes may be referred to City of Boulder Mediation Services.  


How much work do I have to do? What are my responsibilities with regard to yard work and maintenance?

Washington Village members have already agreed to hire professionals for essential maintenance service, such as landscape maintenance, snow removal, and building repairs.  The community may periodically call for volunteers to do periodic maintenance tasks, such as spring cleaning or fall yard cleanups.  No one is obligated to do physical work, but to the degree that members step up when volunteers are need (e.g. spreading mulch, cooking meals, or doing some cleaning between janitorial services), we can minimize expenses and have more fun.  


How much do I have to participate in community activities?

Our Participation Agreement encourages every community member to participate on either one team, or assume responsibility for a job, such as coordinating bus passes, organizing social events, overseeing certain common areas, or maintaining the community website.  We also encourage members to attend community meals as often as possible, since that is one of the best ways to connect with neighbors and keep in touch with what's happening in the community.  


How often do you have community meals? Do I have to cook?

Washington Village members have decided to wait until more members are on board to decide how we want to handle community meals.  Among current members, there is a strong interest in having pot-luck style meals once or twice a month.  We currently have pot-luck meals scheduled once a month.  Once we have access to a common kitchen, there may also be a smaller group that shared regular meals based on a cooperative system of shared meal preparation on a rotating basis for those who choose to participate in that group.  We also have a regular "happy hour" every Friday afternoon for whoever wants to show up.  


Who gets to use the common space?

We have yet to develop any formal agreement regarding the use of common space.  In principle, all community members will have equal access to the common space.  The Agreement will primarily define how space is used, reservation practices, and whether people outside the community, other than guests, can use any of the space.  In some cases, fees may be charged for use of the space, particularly when space is used by non-members.  Fees collected for use of common facilities often help reduce the total common expense that is assessed to owners.  


What about safety and security?

Because we know all our neighbors, someone who does not belong in the community is very easily recognized.  Members on site generally watch out for the safety of our children, one another, and the property of absent residents.  

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