East Lake Commons CoHousing

Decatur, Georgia, United States

  • Last updated: November 27, 2018 (4 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: October 20, 2004

Mission Statement

Organic Garden

Community Description

East Lake Commons is a cohousing community located five miles (eight minutes) from downtown Atlanta, and several miles southeast of the Little Five Points neighborhood. Completed in 2001, it includes 67 townhomes with 10 rental apartments attached, a 4500-sq-ft common house with classroom, office, playroom, media room, woodworking room, workout room, and guest rooms. A playing field and children’s playground surround the common house. About half of the 20-acre site is dedicated to housing and parking on the perimeter; the remainder includes natural woodlands, wildlife corridor, and an organic garden with beehives, blueberry groves, shiitake mushroom logs, and a spring-fed pond. Homes are clustered around pedestrian courtyards and walkways.

Children can run and play with their friends in a safe and nurturing environment; teenagers have supportive role models; and seniors are actively integrated into the community. We are an intergenerational community with diverse religious, ethnic, cultural, and racial backgrounds, and differently abled. What binds us together is knowing and caring about our neighbors.

We manage the community ourselves using a consensus decision-making process. A backup voting procedure is also in place, with each owner getting two votes. Core community values include sustainability, visitability, diversity, affordability, and community.


  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1997
  • Start Living Together: 1999
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://www.eastlakecommons.org/
  • Contact Name: East Lake Commons Cohousing
  • Community Address:
    900 Dancing Fox Rd
    Decatur, Georgia, 30032
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Rural


  • Area: 20 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 67
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    It feels even bigger, because of the surrounding trees and backyards.

    All homeowners own small individual plots; the HOA owns the common land and improvements.

    Most are attached fee-simple townhomes. 1 to 6 homes per building.


    Check website for sales and rentals.

    Estimate, not including decks and patios.


  • Adult Members: 150
  • Child Members: 40
  • Non-member Residents: 20
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    We love visitors. Email us and explain your interest and when you would like to visit. Volunteers are often available to answer questions, assist with tours, and to make contacts as needed. Advance notice is appreciated, especially if guest rooms are needed as rooms are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    For purchase or rental opportunities see http://www.eastlakecommons.org/Ads/default.htm

  • Additional Comments:

    Spiritual practices and interest vary widely, from atheism and agnosticism to paganism, hedonism, goddess and nature worship to traditional Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Judaism.


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    With back-up voting procedure


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

    We share some common space, occasional meals, some tools, etc.

    All are welcome.

    Each adult is asked to contribute 4 hours per month to community projects; however this policy is currently under review.

    Owners pay monthly HOA dues (currently around $150, depending on unit size) for maintaining common areas, etc.

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Sunday meals with potlucks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Typically 10 to 40 people attend on a given night.

    Most residents enjoy vegetables and honey from our organic gardens, cost to join CSA (half-share) is $300/year. Individual garden plots are also available

    Meals are usually vegetarian with options based on individual requests

    Wide variation among different households. Lots of vegetarians, vegans, etc.

    Responsible use of alcohol is allowed in the Common House

    Banned from Common House

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Quaker, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling

Additional Comments

Our community combines some of the best of Urban (highly diverse, close to neighbors), Suburban (safe, quiet, easy parking), and Rural (organic produce grown on site, and lots of open space) settings.

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