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living by yourself vs in cohousing.  RSS feed

 
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i want to know what your opinion is on this and do you think a person should own 500 acres to themselves or share it with others with a small cohousing community? the population is growing and only so much land available. also what is a fair amount of acreage for people that want to live by themselves and farm like say 50 acres? 100 or more acres must be shared? wooded property could be be like 60 or 100 acres but shared through recreation business rentals say like yurt rentals that is run as a family business. when locking up a big property with a conservation easement there needs to be careful planning that should incorporate some of these ideas as to whether there should be more housing like say a cluster.
 
master pollinator
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It seems to me that there is a vast amount of land available with no-one to care for it, not a shortage of land at the present time.  If a person can care for large acreage (which might mean returning it to a wild state) I think they can do that without worrying that somewhere someone doesn't have land.  If people want to share land with other humans, I think that's great too, but I don't personally believe it should be mandatory.

At least that's how I feel about it today.

(Presently caring for 20 acres, which I share with one other human)
 
pollinator
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Forcing people to share large tracts of land is just as bad as forcing people to live close together in villages while leaving the land open. Just my opinion. Personally, I like elbow room.

I attended a public meeting a couple of years ago where our county was considering consolidating a large sprawling subdivision of 1 acre lots near me, forcing people to move together, making a loosely made village. The vacated land would resort to county ownership and stay permanently non-residential use. The public was up in arms! The meeting hall was packed with angry residents, with half the attendees not fitting into the building, but spilling out into the parking lot. The county officials called all the local police in to maintain the peace ( an angry but non-violent peace). I was surprised not by the crowd, but by the number of police. I didn't know that we had so many in my rural community.

People live where they can afford to live and where they are comfortable to live. I would prefer to live on 100 acres but I can't afford it. So I live on 20. I have in the past lived in close housing areas and row homes. I hate the close quarters and it caused lots of unhappy stress. I am far happier with lots of land. My brother is the opposite. Sprawling land around him makes him apprehensive. He's happier in his close condo housing area. To each their own.

While it may appear that there is a shortage of land, I interpret it as a shortage of cheap land in desirable areas that are close to all the preferred infrastructure. The land is there, though no necessarily affordable to most people. Desirable land is priced accordingly (expensive), while undesirable land is too (cheap). Requiring co-habitation of large land parcels won't make it any more affordable. The United States has lots of vacant or open land, available for private ownership or leasehold. Other countries have far less, such as the United Kingdom. I have no experience in other countries. But I suspect that land is there if you can afford it. It may not be exactly what you want in your dreams, but it is there.

I, for one, would not want to be forced by regulation to a limited amount of land.

Besides, who's to say just how much land a person needs? If you're an herb grower, should you be limited to 5 acres? If you're a vegetable grower, should the limit be 20? If you have a goat dairy, are you allowed more land? If you are raising grass fed beef, then could you have 200 acres or more? And on the opposite, if you raise nothing, should you be confined to an apartment or condo? Sticky questions.

 
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Personally, I think if your going to have a intentional community or even a income sharing community. You should have a large enough acreage to start you community and to be able to expand. Some of these intentional community's have rules about having kids. I feel that there should be enough space to add to your family. We need more like minded people who want to do this type of living.
 
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This is an awesome topic.

i have lived remotely in Maine, and in co housing, and in a multigenerational intentional community in Chicago.

There is a difference between how a small group  of 10 or 200 make a decision verses a government. All adults in an intentional community are there by conscious choice. Living in any way by force is bound to ruffle feathers. I was in a mennonite community where building and maintaining relationships was always high high priority. I have also been in housing coops that believed in the power of regulations and rules and democratic voting and business meetings. i felt a tension that was not communally healthy and people should not live in proximity and call that community. Dont get me wrong; an intentional community thats 60 years old still has meetings and decisions, but the decisions and arguments are with people that share a rich life together. Its not just roomates that split the chores and grocery bill.

I would say less than 1% of westerners could live in a community setting and even so it is not an easy task. It is more like a marriage than just a condo association.

To grow food for a family of 4 i believe one acre is sufficient. But you need wood to heat your house and how much depends on your heat source, your climate, and your contentment. How much wood you need to build depends on your designs and your contentment and how much youre depending on the grid to provide. Having animals would also effect acreage needed especially if youre growing the feed. Still, subsistent living with a single family doesnt need to be sprawled over 50 acres.

My dream right now is to create an intentional community with maybe 20 or so families and households with each owning 5 or so acres. So many homesteaders buy 100 acres and want others to come join them, but with such an intense imbalance of power, that would never be a sustainable "community".

My wife and i are extreme introverts and we really enjoy our personal time, but when we lived by ourselves on 18 acres, we wanted to see people every once in a while. Especially now that we have a little baby, she stays at home and likes to interact with adults every once in a while. I think i would like to have friendships too, but i feel painfully awkward with most people. That said, i still would live closish to people. I dont have to chit chat with rhem every day, but a nod and a wave would be nice to see.


 
Johnmark Hatfield
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Just so you realize: you, right now, are sharing land. It doesnt matter whether you own it or not.
 
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