Downsize Me! Building cohousing at 445 Calderon

Where do you go when you’re ready to downsize?

map of Mountain View CohousingThis is the question Kate Forrest and many of her friends faced several years ago. They had long lived in larger single-family homes, raising children who had since left the nest, and now were seeking to “age in place” in a walkable community in Mountain View.

More than just a smaller place in a more central location, Kate and her friends wanted a community that felt friendlier and more collaborative than typical neighborhoods. They bought an acre of land, and began planning the Mountain View Cohousing Community, their new place to call home and a Greenbelt Alliance endorsed development.

About Mountain View Cohousing

After consulting with eco-conscious architect, Chuck Durrett, who specializes in cohousing communities, they drew up plans for 19 homes on the one-acre site, just six blocks away from the lively outside dining of Castro Street in downtown Mountain View.

Beyond that of the average condo building, this development will include countless shared amenities, including a media room, crafts room, workshop, terrace with barbecue, hot tub, raised beds for organic vegetable gardening, bike storage, guest quarters, fruit trees, and more.

A historic home now on the property will be moved to face the street, and repurposed to serve as meeting space open to the broader community. The condos will come in a variety of sizes, with a range of price tags. Residents will park their cars in a shared underground garage and may also end up sharing their vehicles with neighbors to further reduce their carbon footprint.

The plans have such widespread appeal that 13 of the 19 condos are already spoken for, although the City has not yet given final approval to the development. Of these 13 families or individuals, all but two currently live in larger homes and will use this move to downsize.

More housing options

Part of making the Bay Area more sustainable is offering people more choices of where and how to live, and Mountain View Cohousing Community does just that. Greenbelt Alliance is proud to support this development, and encourages you to email City Council to speak up on its behalf.

The City of Mountain View is now evaluating a draft environmental impact report for the cohousing project. The City Council then plans to decide on the project at its Sept. 27 meeting. Mark your calendar and plan to attend, or if you can’t make it, you can still contact the City Council or contact Greenbelt Alliance to express your support for more housing options like this one. After all, Bay Area residents need—and deserve—more ways to live sustainably.

 

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