The intention of Piedmont Ecovillage is to create a healthy environment of approximately 20 households where children play together in safety and where neighbors work collaboratively towards the good of the community while respecting each other’s independence.
Who we are
Our current membership represents several walks of life, from computer professionals to duck farmers, from a Ph.D. to graduates of the “University of Life” — and everything in between. Our meetings have attracted Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and Millennials, at all stages of life, including unmarried individuals, empty nesters, families with young children, and pretty much anyone else! While we’re all very different in many ways, everyone who has touched this group has expressed a strong desire to make at least one corner of the world a better place. Even though we all started out as strangers, this desire has formed a strong bond in our core group.
The central theme for any cohousing community is a commitment to working together. Members are expected to participate in meetings, work parties, and other regular gatherings, as well as take turns in solo or small group tasks such as cooking meals and washing dishes. We have even entertained the idea of starting a community business at some point in the future. Regardless of the size of the effort, the intention is for members to get to know their neighbors and connect to other people to achieve common goals.
Spending time together
We plan on building a common house in the first phase of construction. The common house is a central place for neighbors to gather, eat meals, socialize, listen to music, work on projects, enjoy celebrations, and perhaps someday teach others about our experience. The common house will have a large kitchen and dining area for shared meals and meeting space. Many common houses typically include guest bedrooms, laundry facilities, a workshop, media room, exercise space, office, or meeting rooms, and these ideas are all on the table as we design the Piedmont Ecovillage common house.
Deciding on our future together
All residents will participate in the governance and management of the community. We utilize Sociocracy as our process for governance. Major decisions are made though consent and member circles (sub-committees) are used to help guide the daily operations of the group. (Learn more about our governance.)
Designing a community to promote togetherness
We expect Piedmont Ecovillage’s overall design will support the social aspect of community. The physical layout and orientation of the buildings (the site plan) will encourage interaction with other members. Private residences will be clustered on the site. Dwellings will likely face each other across a pedestrian street or courtyard, and cars will be parked on the periphery. The common house will be centrally located so that it is easy to pass through and meet neighbors on your way home.
Maintaining individual independence
The term “intentional community” sometimes connotes a shared religious, political, economic, or social ideology rather than simply the desire to have a sense of community with your neighbors, some of whom might be quite different from you. Though our current core group members share a desire to spend time together, we welcome diversity and have no interest in subscribing the community to a common ideology of any sort. Along those lines, each of us has expressed an interest in having their own individual lives, where privacy is assured and outside interests are not interrupted by community living. Likewise, while individuals will need to contribute financially to the building and improvement of Piedmont Ecovillage, our group does not expect to share our individual incomes among other members in the community.