Putney Commons

Putney, Vermont, United States

  • Last updated: March 1, 2016 (1 year 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. We are in our sixth year as resident owners and tenants. Six homes were completed in 2009, one is being built now and we are seeking two additional households to join us. There are two building sites available for building, and also one of the original homes is for sale.
The latest home to be built is a Unity modular home which fits right in with the original homes.

A new builder/member may design their own home and select a contractor and architect, if needed, of their own choosing. The size and design require Association approval.
New members must be able to finance the building of their own homes.
The original houses are single-story, built on slabs, super-insulated with a Five Plus Star Energy rating, 1100 to 1500 sq. ft. and south facing. Each home includes a garage and storage unit. The 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.
We share a vision for being good stewards of the land, and supporting one another in living greener and healthier lifestyles.
Members meet monthly to discuss business and living concerns using consensus decision making. Individuals are e involved in varied activities in Putney and nearby Brattleboro. We plan times to be together to enjoy pot luck dinners and occasional work days.
There is a $175 monthly owner’s association fee.

Our almost twelve acres of land are secluded and private. We enjoy being within walking distance of medical offices, post office, bank, restaurants, library, food coop, as well as close to many rich cultural offerings. Putney village is a “transition town,” a movement to vitalize community response to the need for local sustainable living.
See: transitionputney.com, iputney.com,
sandglasstheatre.com, yellowbarn.org, and putneycrafttour.com
Acreage includes fields, woodlands, vegetable garden, and walking trails. The Connecticut River and Putney Mountain offer hikers, bikers, rowers, kayakers, and swimmers many opportunities for enjoyment. There are several private schools and a college nearby. Many community based events are held throughout the year. The food co-op is one of the oldest cooperatives in the country and a center of the town.
We are located just off US Rte 5, via exit 4 off I-91, ten miles north of Brattleboro.

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)
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 11.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, 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, 1 for sale

    2 sites still open, 1 house for sale

    6,and 3 more can be built

    6 completed, 3 sites open

    not yet built

    Somewhat modified


  • Adult Members: 7
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • 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.

  • Additional Comments:

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


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    We have designated officers and we work by consensus.


  • Join Fee: $75000
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $175
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Monthly business meetings.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Energy sources: Solar


  • 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

    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

Additional Comments

population 3,000 in Putney

Five owners live full time on the land, and two others are currently renting their Putney Commons long term. Two additional building sites are available. Traditional or quality modular homes are welcome.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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


Building sites, house for sale