Coho US Staff
For our 10th WebChat, Architect Laura Fitch walked us through the process her home community, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, uses for Design Review. In other words, how the community considers requests from members to make changes to the exterior of their homes.
Pioneer Valley's detailed policy has developed over many years of trial and error. In a community that generally does not have highly detailed policies and procedures, Design Review is the exception. They have found that have a very clear process and policy is necessary to protect the interests of the community. In addition to aesthetic concerns and expansion of a home footprint that may impact others, they also look at the integrity of the building, particularly an puncture to the building envelope that could result in leaks or additional maintenance costs going forward.
If your community doesn't already have a well-functioning Design Review process, Pioneer Valley's example could be a great starting point.
Many thanks to Laura for sharing this great resource. The Cohousing Association is delighted to make connections like these between those who have much wisdom and experience to share and those who need it.