Please note this page is historical.
This project ended on 3/31/19.
What's Cohousing ?
It is an intentional community that "cultivates a culture of sharing and caring" in a neighborhood of private homes designed around shared spaces. "Neighbors commit to being part of a community for everyone's mutual benefit." Read more at the Cohousing Association of the United States. And click here for 10 reasons people live in senior (55+) cohousing
What's a UU and Do I Need To Be One ?
That's the acronym for Unitarian Universalist, a member or ally of a liberal religion with no shared creed. From the UUA.org: "Unitarian Universalism affirms and promotes seven Principles, grounded in the humanistic teachings of the world's religions. Our spirituality is unbounded, drawing from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition as described in our six Sources." Turns out the core principles of cohousing and the fundamental values held by UUs share a lot of overlap! And you do NOT have to be a UU member to join in.
Click here to see if we're a good match, with thanks to Elderspirit for their Goodness of Fit questionnaire.
How many people will live in the Common Ground Community ?
November 2018 update: The neighborhood will have 20 to 24 homes and probably 30 to 45 residents. A 2500-3000 sqft Common House is being designed, and extensive pathways, community garden, and outdoor spaces are also in the works. Although we cannot build as hoped on the original parcel purchased in July, we will nonetheless be environmental stewards, planning to create a conservancy area should our new property provide such acreage.
What will the homes be like & how much will they cost ?
Consistent with cohousing principles, homes will be 1- and 2-bedroom, 800 to 1300 sq ft with some options for adding a third bedroom. As a senior community, we are incorporating Universal Design for aging in place [scroll down page for "Characteristics of Universal Design in Housing"]. Current investors/future neighbors are reviewing floor plans, with the fruit of this work made available in January. Important gatherings on April 28 and June 2, 2018 helped us clarify our Vision and Mission statements and inform our design work with Michael Versen, Landscape Architect, and Garry Tucker, Robert G. Campell & Associates engineering representative.
Unable to move ahead with the current property due to cost-prohibitive site development demands for stormwater management, we remain committed to home cost under $250,000 (aiming for substantially lower), which will include ~1/20th ownership of the property, public spaces, and common buildings. Contact the Community Coordinator to discuss joining in!
When complete, ownership will transfer to a non-profit HOA structure, managed by the residents themselves.
The big bend in the road this year:
We had identified a potential building site back in May 2017, and when the project renewed in 2018, we were able to purchase the 22 acres in northeast Knoxville. We closed on 7/31/18 and submitted to the city in late August. We knew the topography would be challenging -- it turned out we could not feasibly cover stormwater mgmt and site prep costs and keep the project affordable. The journey continues..
2016-2017 in Review:
THANK YOU to everyone who attended the initial launch of this intentional community on Saturday, January 28, 2017! After 8 months of mindful consideration by a small adhoc group April to December, 2016, this project was officially moving ahead. More than 50 people gathered to learn about cohousing and meaningful aging and had opportunities to talk together about possibilities for the unfolding journey. Door prizes were won (congrats Coni and Gordon), and the community name was voted in:
Then across 6 months, there were many conversations and some potlucks, including one with very special guest Dene Peterson, one of the founders of Elderspirit; Study Group explorations; field trips to Elderspirit [click here for one report]; MANY property searches; and a National Cohousing Conference, with a report presented to the community at a potluck on June 3. As of June 28, 2017, however, the project director stepped down to return full-time to her private practice, and the senior project was suspended. A new coordinating group expanded into multigenerational cohousing interests in Knoxville Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more info on their current plans.
In January, 2018, a benefactor has made it possible for the original project founder, Susan Fuhr, to return to the project and fund the initial expenses required to relaunch the senior community vision.