San Mateo Ecovillage

Last updated: December 25, 2012 (2 years ago)

Listing created on: November 10, 2004

San Mateo Ecovillage

(San Mateo, California, United States)

  • Status: Forming
  • Started Planning: 1998
  • Start Living Together: 1998
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: San Mateo Ecovillage
  • Address:
    3329 Los Prados St
    San Mateo, California, 94403
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: Yes
    Please send an email.

    Unless we are in a period of looking for new members, or hosting an organized event, please do not expect us to be able to spend too much time with you., …unless of course, you want to trade some time in the garden.

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: Yes
    when there are openings

Mission Statement:

sustainability / social change

Community Description:

We are a small suburban community facing a lagoon between San Mateo and Foster City, California. We purchased a four-unit building in 1998 and after seven years of waiting, in 2005, we purchased the second building. We have planted fruit trees and extensive organic gardens, are beekeepers, and in 2012 added aquaponics. We are a cooperative—something between intentional community and cohousing, though we identify most with the concept of a mini-ecovillage. We had hoped to have co-owners but the mortgage market has made that difficult, so this is mostly a community of renters. We have worked to help develop more of a community within the local neighborhood. The location is wonderful: lots of birds, sunrise over the water, nearby biking/walking path, park with playground, tennis/basketball courts, and city amenities of proximity to freeway and public transportation, etc.

Values we would like to see “grow” on this site can be summed up in the concept of sustainable development: growing some of our own food; supporting local organic farmers in farmers’ markets or in a community-supported agriculture (CSA); reducing, reusing, recycling; avoiding buying food and other items that contribute to the destruction of local economies and the environment. We want to share time in the garden, meals at the dinner table, and other activities with the people we live with. We seek open communication and a deep expression of feelings. We expect those wishing to join us to have a commitment to these values and goals as well.

Community founders are also very involved in progressive politics, and although not a requirement, would welcome people who share their passion for planetary transformation.


  • Adult Members: 20
  • Percent Women: 31-40%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: focus, but not primary

    various spiritual traditions

    one family is currently home schooling

Social Factors

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions)
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling


  • Type: Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property.)
  • Decision Making: Other
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments: My husband and I are founders, but do not necessarily need to remain as leaders.

    We are moving in that direction.

    We try to use consensus when appropriate. Some decisions need to be made by owners.

Land and Buildings

  • Area: 0.5 acres
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members
  • Current Number of Residences: 8
  • Additional Comments: open to renters becoming co-owners

    8 apartments in two 4 unit buildings


    we use the living room in one apartment for common meals and events.

    related to cohousing as well as other forms of intentional community

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Required Labor Contribution: 0


  • Additional Comments: about 12 hours/month in the garden, shared meal and meeting weekly

    rent or mortgage payment in one of the most expensive housing areas in the country

    rent or mortgage share, share gardening expenses



  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian


  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.


  • Tobacco Use: No~ this community does not permit tobacco use.


  • Additional comments: informal sharing at other times

    and increasing

    common meals are vegetarian


Additional Comments

We began with only one couple as owners, others have been renters. We want to move to being primarily a community of co-owners.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Cohousing Info

  • Building site status: Retrofitting
  • Shared common building: No

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Ecovillage Network of the Americas, The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

Community Affiliations

Enchanted Garden Intentional Community, Dragon Belly Farm, Damanhur, Federation of Communities

Fair Housing Laws

This community acknowledges that their listing does not include any potential violations of the Fair Housing Law, or that they do not provide housing. For any questions about this topic please see our Content Policies and contact FIC with any questions or concerns:

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.
Bryan Bowan Architects California Cohousing International Communes Desk ICSA NICA Wolf Creek Lodge