Champlain Valley Cohousing

Charlotte, Vermont, United States

  • Last updated: January 16, 2018 (3 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: October 30, 2004

Mission Statement

Vision: We are a self-managed, participatory cohousing community living in a cluster of energy-efficient, privately-owned homes, collectively enjoying, learning from, and stewarding 115 acres of conserved farmland and wildlife habitat (forests and fields). We share in creating and caring for a resourceful, productive, and resilient community to support environmentally sustainable living, and we govern ourselves through use of sociocracy.

Community Description

Do you belong at Champlain Valley Cohousing? We welcome all interested in environmental sustainability, compassionate relationships, and living meaningful lives.

Do you seek community? As a community, we are dedicated to knowing each other in a meaningful way. We help each other with childcare, meals, and all sorts of projects.

Do you crave space? We have privately owned homes clustered around a central green and collectively own another 115 acres of meadows and forest.

Our homes are clustered around a central green, enabling little ones to enjoy safe independence and allowing all neighbors to enjoy spontaneous and meaningful social interaction.

Our land lies in the charming rural village of Charlotte, Vermont. We are 14 miles from the vibrant city of Burlington, which has a lively downtown pedestrian mall, several small colleges, the University of Vermont, a regional teaching hospital, and an international airport. Middlebury, a charming college town, is an easy commute south. The international city of Montreal is an easy two-hour drive north. Gorgeous Lake Champlain is just four miles away.

Our land consists of 125 acres of rolling farmland, wetlands, meadows, brooks, woods, hiking paths, and ponds. Surrounded by distant views of Buck Mountain, Mt Philo, and a glimpse of the Adirondack peaks, we are a rural, pedestrian-centered community with townhomes and single-family homes around an extensive central green. Excellent public schools, and pre-K through 12th grade Waldorf schools serve the community.

Some 115 of our 125 acres are preserved forever for wildlife corridors and farming. Our parking is on the periphery of our neighborhood, making it safe for little ones and pedestrian-centric.

We privately own our own modest homes. We share the trails, pastures, organic gardens, yurt, and the common green where potlucks and other social activities occur.

We enjoy occasional potluck dinners, work together on keeping our community beautiful, and have lots of fun. We are committed to living in a thoughtful way that promotes environmental sustainability and healthy community relationships.

About

  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 126 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Lots to build on, Townhomes
  • Current Number of Residences: 21
  • Planned number of residences: 26
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    We have a mix of townhomes and single family homes. To see what is for sale, please visit our website. There are a handful of lots remaining for single family home development, with septic, water, and power already in place, a cost savings of approximately $10,000-$20,000.

    We have set aside a large area on our green for our Common House, not yet built. In the meantime, we share use of an approximately 500-square foot heated yurt, which serves us quite well.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 34
  • Child Members: 23
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    We invite you to join one of our monthly potluck dinners. We are happy to give tours of ready-to-build lots and any homes that are for sale. Please see our Contact Us page on our website and submit a “Tell Us About Yourself” form. Or reach us by phone at 802-863-4753.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    We invite you to visit us and share in a meal or even stay overnight so we can get to know one another.

  • Additional Comments:

    Excellent public schools, and Waldorf pre-K through 12 schools, both nearby.

Government

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

    We govern ourselves through the principles of Sociocracy (also called Dynamic Governance) carried out through the work of Circles, which are delegated many of the needed tasks and decision making of our community. It is highly participatory, and some decision making such as annual budgets and Board membership are decided on by all the Homeowners.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $150
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Geothermal
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Swimming pond or pool, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Yurt, until we have a Common House
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    One of the attractions of living here is that locally sourced food is highly valued within the greater Burlington area community, with numerous farmers markets, CSAs, and our own gardens where homeowners plant what they choose.
    Members have, at one point or another, raised chickens for meat or eggs, turkeys, had a family cow, and kept a small herd of sheep. At this time, we have chickens for eggs and we have 4 goats cared for by several of our older children, under the supervision of an adult. Our farming is done individually or by joining together with other interested households.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Quaker
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

20 minute drive from Burlington VT

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Coho/US

Community Affiliations

Ten Stones, Burlington Cohousing East Village, Vermont Land Trust, Transition Town Charlotte

Keywords

cohousing, vermont, waldorf, community, rural, farm, farming, potluck, burlington, middlebury, UVM