Putney Commons

Putney, Vermont, United States

  • Last updated: December 22, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: May 6, 2006

Mission Statement

We are creating a small, cooperative neighborhood of diverse individuals, sharing friendship and support while living independently in an ecologically responsible community, making decisions through consensus.

Community Description

Putney Commons (www.putneycommonsvt.com) is a small, owner developed, friendly intentional community located in Putney, Vermont. Six homes were completed in 2009, and a seventh was built in 2014. The final two building sites are currently available for single-story homes of up to 1100 square feet. The sites are surrounded by field, garden, hills and woods. We are currently a community of nine people and are open to families and individuals of all ages. We share a vision for being good stewards of the land and supporting one another in living greener and healthier lifestyles.

The six original houses are built in two clusters of three semi-detached homes. They are single-story, on slabs, have no attics, are super-insulated and boast a Five Plus Star Energy rating. They range from 1100 to 1475 sq. ft. and are clustered on the north end of a 3.5 acre field. Each has a garage with a small storage unit. The seventh home stands alone. Interior designs vary greatly, based on owner-designed preferences. Four houses have photo voltaic panels; one household has a subscription to a local solar farm.The two remaining members will finance the building of their own homes. These must be single story, on slab, with a footprint up to1100 sq. ft., meet 5-Star Plus energy standards, and be aesthetically compatible with the other homes. All community members participate in reviewing and approving final designs.

Members meet monthly to discuss business and living concerns. We make decisions by consensus. We have no common house and eat independently, but we enjoy sharing pot luck dinners and occasional work days. Our $200 monthly owner’s association fee covers mowing, plowing, sanding, trash, insurance, land maintenance and a reserve fund. Legally we are a condominium association, owning the land in common and individually owning our homes from the inside walls in. The Association is responsible for the exteriors of buildings. For example, when the exteriors need re-staining, the reserve fund will be tapped to do the work.
Our 11.5 acres of land are secluded and private; they include fields, woodlands, vegetable garden, and walking trails. Amazingly, we are also right in Putney village, across the street from the post office and behind the first row of houses. We are within easy walking distance of a yoga center, senior exercises/art classes/monthly senior lunches at the Putney Community Cares barn, medical offices, post office, bank, library, food coop, general store, gas station/auto repair, as well as rich cultural institutions. (See iputney.com, nextstage.com,sandglasstheatre.com, yellowbarn.org, putneycrafttour.com> transitionputney.com.)

Our nearest neighbor is the Putney Community Center, which houses a nursery school, foodshelf, zumba classes and dog training. A seasonal farmer’s market is within walking distance, and eight restaurants /eateries are within half a mile. Nearby, the Connecticut River and Putney Mountain offer hikers, bikers, rowers, kayakers, and swimmers many opportunities for enjoyment. Putney has three private schools and Landmark College, as well as a strong public elementary school. Many community-based events are held throughout the year, including a village-wide community supper the second Friday of each month except December and August.

We are located ten miles north of Brattleboro just half a mile from I-91, exit 4.
Interested? Contact us by email or phone and then plan to meet with us.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2003
  • Start Living Together: 2008
  • 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.putneycommonsvt.com
  • Contact Name: Elizabeth Christie
  • Phone: 802-387-5464
  • Community Address:
    6-3 Putney Commons Way
    PO Box 636
    Putney, Vermont, 05346
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2015
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association
  • Location: Small Town or Village


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 11.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 7
  • Planned number of residences: 9
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Housing Provided: Purchase
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    Putney Commons Owners Association

    7 completed, 2 still to be built

    2 sites still open

    6,and 3 more can be built

    6 completed, 3 sites open

    not yet built

    Somewhat modified


  • Adult Members: 9
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    See our website: www.putneycommonsvt.com.
    Then, contact Elizabeth Christie by email or by phone at 802-387-5464, [email protected]

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Contact for information and follow up visits, attendance at group meetings.

  • Additional Comments:

    Ecumenical. We come from Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Unitarian, Quaker and other backgrounds with a common orientation toward service to community.


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

    We have designated officers and we work by consensus.


  • Join Fee: $68000
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $200
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Monthly business meetings.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Food produced locally: 0%, or close to 0%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s)
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Potlucks often include neighbors

    Large community garden began summer 2009, includes abutting neighbors

    Seasonal farmer’s market walking distance, local farmer’s CSAs, food coop; eight restaurants /eateries within walking distance.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Education Style(s): Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

population 3,000 in Putney

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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


Building sites