2006-02-12 18:03 in /life/cohousing
Yesterday’s Pasadena Cohousing meeting just depressed the hell out of me.
I started feeling a little worried before the meeting when I found out that the only people coming with kids would be us and the Nortons. I have a hard time understanding the appeal of cohousing to young people without kids, so it was a little jarring to realize all the sudden that there weren’t many of us with kids in the group. (One active family with kids just decided to move out of the area because I they can’t afford to live here anymore.) This uneasiness would turn out to be well-founded...
Attendance has been low at meetings lately, and last night was the lowest I can recall. It was also (like most meetings) supposed to be a potluck. However, only 2 and 1/2 people actually brought food. Now, the people who didn’t bring food didn’t eat any either, so they weren’t freeloading or anything, but the problem remains that two dishes and a little coleslaw doesn’t make a potluck.
We spent a while talking about membership, and that was fine, if perhaps a bit of a rehash. The problematic part came with the site selection report. There are a couple properties under investigation, none of which sounds all that appealing to me, but one apparently has a few people interested. The thing is, the property is being sold with plans and permits already done, and the plans are for something like 16 one-bedroom, 700 sq ft apartments. They say they can reconfigure it to add a couple two bedrooms, but those would still be only 900 sq ft which isn’t much for a family. It gets worse when they talk about the cost, which is pushing $700K for one of those 2-bedroom units. At this point, both families are saying, there’s no way.
We had to leave before this discussion was resolved, but I’m not really sure what the resolution will be. I feel like there’s this unbridgable gap between the urbanist singles and DINKs, who are happy to live in small apartments with no green space next to busy streets (but also the Gold Line), and the suburbanist families, who want open space for kids and enough breathing room in our homes for 4 people. We’re still talking Pasadena here, which isn’t hard-core suburbia by any means, but it still seems nearly impossible to please everyone.
This post is just going to sort of trail off here, because I don’t have any reasonable way to sum it up. I’m in a crappy mood over all this, and I’m hoping that ranting about it will make me feel better rather than worse. I guess we’ll see.