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Cohousing is a type of intentional community that combines private personal homes with extensive shared common facilities
Cohousing provides a resilient social and support network for seniors aging in place, as well as busy young families raising children
Since 2015, our group has been working together to create a practical development that will be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable
The "developers" (Driftwood Village Cohousing Ltd.) are the actual future residents who will live in this building
There is no profit in this project; however, affordability is still a challenge, due to land costs and rising construction costs
Eight of the units will be designated as 25% below-market ownership, to fulfill our required Community Amenity Contribution, and to help a wider range of families live in North Vancouver; a housing agreement and registered covenants ensure these 8 units stay 25% below-market in perpetuity
Driftwood Village Cohousing purchased a 14,000 sqft site in the City of North Vancouver, on Chesterfield Avenue near West 21st Street. We received our rezoning approval by North Vancouver City Council in July 2018. We hope to break ground early in 2019.
Our design is a 27-unit, 5-storey building which includes 5 townhouses and 22 apartment-style units, ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms, built on top of one level of underground parking.
Our common spaces will include a common kitchen and dining room, children's play areas (indoor and outdoor), guest suite, multi-purpose room, laundry room, workshop and rooftop garden.
We specifically chose a site in a walkable, bikeable neighbourhood, and we're creating our own car-share program, so we can reduce our car ownership.
The building is designed to Passive House standards, which ensures very high energy efficiency.
What's on each level?
The underground level contains parking for vehicles (including electric), bikes (including electric), a workshop, kayak storage, and other storage.
The ground floor includes the main entrance from Chesterfield, the common house (with kitchen, dining room and lounge), shared laundry, and children's play room. There is a covered atrium near the townhouse entrances, and an uncovered courtyard between the common house and play room.
The third floor includes a guest suite with two rooms.
The fifth floor includes a multi-purpose room and shared deck with southwest exposure.
On top of the fifth floor, we will have a rooftop garden for our community.
Six of the homes are accessed on the ground level, with the remainder of the one-level units on the second, third, fourth and fifth floors.
What is cohousing?
From the Canadian Cohousing Network:
"Cohousing Neighbourhoods… Some people call them a return to the best of small-town communities. Others say they are like a traditional village or the close-knit neighbourhood where they grew up, while futurists call them an altogether new response to social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Each holds a piece of the truth."
"Cohousing residents participate in the planning, design, ongoing management and maintenance of their community. Residents usually own their individual homes, which are clustered around a "common house" with shared amenities. Cohousing provides personal privacy combined with the benefits of living in a community where people know and interact with their neighbours."
"Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighbourhoods. Cohousing provides the privacy we are accustomed to within the community we seek."
"Cohousing residents consciously commit to living as a community. The neighbourhood's physical design encourages both individual space and social contact. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground and a common house."
Our local public libraries have three of the best books on cohousing available, so be sure to borrow one for inspiration!