Bristol Village Cohousing Update

Hi Cohousers:

All this time, we have been assuming that those on our email list are well acquainted with the concept of cohousing – what distinguishes it from other kinds of communities, and the social, financial and environmental implications of the cohousing lifestyle. But in case you are unfamiliar or have questions about this essential part of Bristol Village Cohousing, please join us for…

… our next Member Meeting on Sunday, March 5 from 1 – 4 pm at 16 North Street (the future Common House). We will have some special guests – Don Schramm and Barbara Nolfi, two of the cofounders of East Village Cohousing in Burlington. They will make a presentation and answer your questions about their experience creating and living in a successful cohousing community. We will also offer a tour of our development, showing you our homes that are near completion or ready for sale.

Please enter our Common House from the front porch so as not to unduly disturb the tenants. Childcare will be provided during the meeting for those coming with young children. Refreshments will also be available.

Our full agenda for the meeting:

1:00 – 2:30: tours of the project and individual homes

2:30 – 3:00: Introduction to Bristol Village Cohousing

3:00 – 4:00: What is cohousing and is it for you?

A shortened meeting of our owner-only cohousing group will follow, for further discussion of policies and the Common House. 

What’s new?

We have been working closely with the Heidi McCullough of Efficiency Vermont, who has been guiding us to the best ways to achieve the High Performance energy efficiency standard. The work involved is an enormously painstaking process, and we are grateful for Heidi’s knowledge and her availability to answer our questions.

Heidi informed us that only about 2% of new home construction in Vermont is built to the High Performance standards we are aiming for. In addition, our renovation of the Tomasi House is on the cutting edge of deep energy retrofits. Achieving these efficiency goals is important to our community, and this is best done on initial construction, and much more difficult after a house has been built or already renovated.

In addition to energy efficiency, we are planning for the use of renewable energy sources. Our mostly electric households will receive all of their electricity from solar installations – 30% provided by rooftop solar and the rest purchased from a solar field. Even our outdoor lampposts will be powered by their own solar collectors.

Our aim is to create homes and a lifestyle with a light carbon footprint, something that can be replicated to encourage responsible stewardship of our planet.  And our energy savings will fuel that frugal Yankee ethos we hear is part of our Vermont heritage.

Based on the progress we have made so far, we are now talking with the builders about completion dates. The North Cottage and the townhouses at 8 North Street will be ready for occupancy sometime in April. Next up will be the South Cottage and the units in 14 North Street. The entire complex will be ready for occupancy in June.

Units for sale

We still have a few two and three bedroom homes for sale. These include ground floor flats, a cottage, and townhouses. Our permanently affordable flat is still a possibility for buyers. And keep an eye out for the second floor apartment at 14 North St, which has a spectacular view of the nearby mountains. We do have people who have expressed an interest in some of these remaining homes, so make sure you contact us soon if you would like to join our community. 

If you are interested in living in Bristol Village Cohousing, please contact Jim (802-734-0798) to discuss details and make arrangements for a tour.

That’s it for now – hope to see you all on Sunday!