Bristol Village Cohousing Update

Hi Cohousers:

Here is another in our series of occasional updates about Bristol Village Cohousing. There’s lots to report, so we’ll get right to it!

Open house (and growing interest)

We scheduled a presentation and tour of the property in Bristol this past Sunday, to coincide with the member meeting we had scheduled later that day. We were pleasantly surprised by a turn-out of 25 people who came to learn about our plans!  And to top it off, WCAX sent out a camerawoman to see what we were about (you can find the broadcast at this link: WCAX Story about Bristol Village Cohousing

The discussion following our talk was lively, with lots of questions and laughter. We loved the good humor and amiability of this group, and appreciated that all of our available members came out to support us. We have already had a few call-backs from our new visitors, asking for further information. There appears to be fierce interest in the available condo units in 12 and 14 North Street.

So it seems to be true that the home buying season heats up as the weather warms, and interest accelerates as the construction deadline looms. Another reason to be grateful for the arrival of spring!

Member meeting

The big event this Sunday was our member meeting, a chance to make some decisions for our architecture team, and to give everyone a chance to see our updated plans. In attendance were all of our available full members, a few associate members and a few families who are on the fence but very interested in joining us.

Jean Terwilliger, our excellent architect, showed us more detailed drawings of the project, and answered questions about everything from insulation to toilets. The notes and drawings from this meeting will be posted on our website.

The member meeting was fun and good-natured – a serious discussion by people with good hearts and deep social values. We left the meeting feeling uplifted – we know that our collective project is in good hands.

And we made some decisions:

Common House

·      Cooking (not just eating) meals together is important, so we will make sure the common kitchen can be used for cooking (not just warming) meals.

·      We will install a sprinkler system in 16 North Street so we can use the upstairs rooms for overnight guests of our community.

Sound barriers

·      We will add additional sound separation between the flats in 12 and 14 North Street, so we can make sure that noise doesn’t bleed from one unit to another

Windows

·      We decided to upgrade to the more durable European-style triple-glazed windows rather than the ones that were spec’d.  

·      We are leaning toward windows made of PVC, as they are more affordable than those made of wood. But concerns over the manufacturing process were raised, so Jean is going to investigate to see whether there are problems with the disposal of toxic byproducts.

·      Members who are interested will be investigating whether they like European –style “tilt and turns” or whether we should go with double hung windows (not as tight) or casements.

Thanks to Almost Home for hosting us until closing time. That gave the creaky heat in 8 North Street a chance to kick in before we came back there to finish our meeting.

Financing

We submitted a raft of documents to a local bank, as part of our application for a construction loan. One of these items was a required appraisal of each unit, to make sure there was enough money in the project to repay the bank. Happily, all of our units appraised at or above the prices we have set. This was quite reassuring (and borne out by the interest we have seen from potential homebuyers). We should have a decision from the bank in the next few weeks (fingers are crossed).

Miscellaneous matters

·      The tenants have largely moved out of 8 North Street, which will likely be one of the first buildings we renovate. We were finally able to show people the upstairs bedrooms, and there is more interest in these units now that it is easier to see what’s there.

·      The tenants in 16 North Street will also be moving out at the end of May.  We have a few repairs we will likely do once this Common House is empty, but are hoping to have someone in there to keep “eyes on the property” during construction. If you know anyone interested in living in an historic house until, say, May 2017, please let us know.

Next steps

·      We are scheduling another meeting Sunday April 24 at 3 pm for members and others seriously interested. We will meet at 8 North Street. Stay tuned for details. If you want more information about the cohousing project and wonder if you can come to the meeting, please email jim@bristolcousing.com or text/call him at 802-734-0798.

·      Katie Raycroft-Meyer, our landscape architect, will be making a presentation of the revised site plan on Saturday May 14 – time TBA..

That’s it for now. Feel free to contact us with questions anytime.

Peg and Jim and the members of BVCH

www.bristolcohousing.com

802-734-0798