Cantine’s Island Cohousing

Saugerties, New York, United States

  • Last updated: May 30, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Balancing Privacy & Community, sharing resources, being good stewards of our land, living harmoniously with each other. Family friendly.

Community Description

We are a cohousing community of 19 modest private houses and a common house built on three acres of a 9.5 acre property, with one-quarter mile frontage on the Esopus, a deep-water creek, between the falls over Barclay’s Dam and the Hudson River. Our uniquely lovely property is the largest in the village, offering the convenience of town living and a nice degree of privacy. We worked long and hard to achieve our success, and in so doing came to know each other as trusted partners. We’re all delighted to be living here!

We have homes for sale in the community for new members. Cohousing embodies an ideology of sharing, balanced with respect for privacy. We are egalitarian, tolerant, and open to alternative lifestyles. Only a few of us are vegetarians, but any food preferences may be accommodated at community meals (cook’s choice).

See our Facebook page for more pictures and for a flavor of life in the community.

Note: Our page on the National Cohousing Assoc. website has partial details and our page on the FIC website page has all the details.


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Small Town or Village


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 9.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 19
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    Each member household owns its own house and small lot (approx. 1/12th acre), plus an equal share in the Homeowners’ Assn. that owns and manages all the commons. Several of the houses have made arrangements to accommodate boarders, who are welcome to participate in the life of the community. We are inter-generational; we are pleased to have young families among us and hope to attract more, for the sustainability of the community.

    In addition to our Common House, we have a kayak & canoe boathouse, a 4-car garage that’s used for workshops and storage, a large storage facility and a large garden shed.


  • Adult Members: 28
  • Child Members: 9
  • Non-member Residents: 4
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Monday evening potluck or Open house and tour. Please contact: M Compain at [email protected] or (845) 246-3271

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Visit. See the houses that are for sale. Participate in the activities of the community, as indicated below. Sign a contract of sale for an existing house. Meet with Membership Committee. Become a homeowner if the community does not exercise its Right of First Refusal.

  • Additional Comments:

    Before purchasing a home, potential buyers are encouraged to become acquainted with the community by participating in meal preparation and/or clean-up, lending a hand during work days, sitting in on committee and Homeowners’ Assn. meetings, and reading the By-laws, Policies and Cantine’s Island Users’ Manual.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Proposals are brought to the Homeowners’ Assn. meetings by committees. Officers of the HOA are elected yearly.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $140
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    All members are expected to contribute work to the upkeep of the community, but no quota of hours is specified. There are a wide variety of types of work that are needed to maintain the community, from mowing grass to roles in managing finance.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Waterfront access, Boathouse, storage, workshops, picnic area by the water that is suitable for large, outdoor music parties, parking lot.
  • 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), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Our vegetable garden provides some percentage of our food in season, and we occasionally preserve some of the harvest. We can’t be Kosher or Halal in the Common House kitchen, but if people want to follow these practices at home that’s fine.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling
  • Additional Comments:

    Some community members follow religious practices of various types, as would normally be expected, and we respect each other’s ways. We do observe some holidays in the Common House, but try to do so in a way that’s respectful of the fact that others don’t celebrate those holidays.

Additional Comments

Cantine’s Island is in the Village of Saugerties, within the larger Town of Saugerties. Saugerties has many excellent restaurants, shops, bookstores, a craft brewery tavern and a movie theater. Main Street is on the National Historic Register. Kingston and Woodstock are nearby. Rhinebeck, Bard College and the Culinary Institute of America are across the river. This is a beautiful and culturally rich area, and the people of Cantine’s Island think we are very fortunate to live here.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US

Community Affiliations

Arm-of-the-Sea Theater, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Esopus Creek Conservancy, Saugerties Historical Society, Saugerties Public Library, River Keeper


Hudson Valley, family-friendly, shared organic gardens, commons, good land use