~ Creating an old-fashioned neighborhood in a new way ~
What is Oak Creek Commons cohousing?
We are a group of families, couples and singles who have created a 36 household cohousing neighborhood in Paso Robles on the Central Coast of California. We found our beautiful land in October 1999. Construction started in 2003 with most of us moving in during 2004. Our final home was completed in the summer of 2005. Now we have matured in to a well functioning, self-managed cohousing neighborhood with a strong desire to see our community thrive and expand.
There are 31 townhouse condominiums and 5 single-family homes. All our homes are self-sufficient, ranging in size from one bedroom to four-bedroom. Each has a living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom area. Our energy efficient townhomes and common house were constructed along a common walkway leaving as much open space as possible for natural areas, gardens, and recreation.
Why do people choose to live in Oak Creek Commons?
People choose Oak Creek Commons cohousing primarily because they want to know their neighbors. When asked what they appreciate about living in cohousing, our members often cite casual encounters on site with other residents and the ability to participate in the management of the community. We believe that our commitment to living in close proximity to people we have chosen as neighbors and friends enriches our everyday lives. Our cohousing community also embodies a number of values that we share, including the interconnection between all things, close relationships with our neighbors, mutual support, acceptance, privacy, fun, and teamwork.
Who lives at Oak Creek Commons?
Currently there are about 58 adults and 15 children who live at Oak Creek Commons. Our residents currently range in age from a new born to 88 years old.
How many children live at Oak Creek Commons?
Currently there are fifteen children who live in the community. They range in age from newly born to middle school age. The total number of children changes over time as they grow up and as new families move in.
Is this a commune?
No. We have separate incomes, and private individual, self-sufficient homes.
Do you share income?
No. We do not share income nor do we have a community enterprise.
How much turnover is there?
Of the 36 households 20 are still occupied by the original owners. Some of our most active members are from these households. Currently 30 homes are occupied by the owners, and 6 are occupied by renters.
What is the relationship of Oak Creek Commons to the wider community?Many residents at Oak Creek Commons take an active interest in the wider community. Many of our founding members are active in the effort to help make our bioregion more resilient economically and more sustainable ecologically. Individuals and groups in our community are involved in a wide variety of activities including volunteering at the local foodbank, the elementary school and self help housing development across the street, the city library, Habitat for Humanity, their churches, a newly forming food cooperative and political organization. Many of our resident are involved in environmental organization and share their expertise regarding subject matters such as permaculture and bee keeping. Several of our members are enthusiastic gardeners and were instrumental in the city's demonstration garden. Several residents are artists and support the arts. We have supported local play productions put on by some of our students and adults alike. Our teachers have received support for classroom projects from community members as well.
Is there a political or religious affiliation?
Oak Creek Commons Cohousing does not have an official political or religious affiliation, and we welcome people with diverse points of view.
Do I have to like everyone? As in any healthy community, people strive to be accepting and respectful toward others. Since cohousing communities usually attract members through a process of networking, it is likely that a high degree of friendship will exist among members. Some people, of course, are very private individuals and may feel comfortable with only a few friends, whereas others will form friendships with everyone in the community. As in other areas of life, individuals will create their own balance between privacy and interaction. Also as in any group of people, we find more of an affinity toward some over others for social interactions. We have become very good at listening to a variety of viewpoints even when we don't agree.