Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage

Belfast, Maine, United States

  • Last updated: May 24, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: September 17, 2007

Mission Statement

The mission of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage is to be a model environmentally sustainable, affordable, multi-generational cohousing community that is easily accessible to Belfast, includes land reserved for agricultural use and open space, and is an innovative housing option for rural Maine.

Community Description

Belfast is a city of 7,000 people located in midcoast Maine between Camden and Bar Harbor. The city features an active waterfront and lively arts community, and is the center of business, services, and government for the surrounding county. Traditional housing in the Belfast area falls into two main categories: in-town residential neighborhoods and rural, large-lot homesteads. Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage is a community that combines the best elements of both types: located in a rural area with clustered housing and shared infrastructure, but working to preserve neighboring open land for wildlife, recreation, and farming, while fostering a close-knit, cooperative, and intentionally ecological way of life.

We are a group of roughly 70 people from many walks of life. We are business owners, educators, naturalists, gardeners, builders, farmers, doctors, writers, musicians, IT professionals, and children of all ages. Our 42-acre community is located just two miles from Belfast’s downtown and harbor. We are within 1.5 miles of elementary and middle schools, Cornerspring Montessori Elementary School, the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, a YMCA, grocery and other retail stores.

All of our homes are highly energy efficient, with triple-pane windows and doors and oriented towards the sun. Two-thirds of the homes have solar systems, making them near net-zero for energy consumption. Personal garden plots are available, and we have a community orchard. We also have a 3-acre worker share CSA farm on our property, where neighbors gather each week to harvest veggies and maintain the land.

Our 4,000 sq ft common house is complete, with a living room, dining room, playroom, guest rooms, and root cellar. We share a couple home-cooked meals weekly, as well as educational, environmental, and social events.

We currently have the following units available for sale:
-a 500 square foot, 1-bedroom unit near the common house

Please visit our website for more information on visiting us or to learn more about the available homes.

Links:

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Area: 42 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 36
  • Planned number of residences: 36
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    36 units: 13 duplexes, 2 triplexes and 1 quad, ranging in size from 440 to 1,500 sq ft.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 55
  • Child Members: 16
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes

Government

  • Decision Making: Sociocracy
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, Mixed Eastern Philosophy or Practice, Not a particularly spiritual or religious Community
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

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Keywords

energy efficient, passive solar homes