New Cohousing Planned for West Sacramento

November 15, 2016

Called Washington House (formerly known as Renaissance Village Homes), the project will be a 4- to 5-story cohousing condominium building at 4th and G Streets in West Sacramento. The site is a block from the Sacramento River and River Walk, 3 blocks from Raley Field, 6 blocks from The Barn, about 10 blocks from West Sacramento City Hall and Carol’s Restaurant. Being less than a half-mile from Tower Bridge, the site is also within easy walking distance of downtown Sacramento, including the new Golden 1 Center.

A co-housing community is one where every household has its own private living space, and the group shares large areas of common spaces, usually including an industrial-strength kitchen and dining area, “club [multi-purpose] room”, and a unique arrangement of additional amenities as determined by the planning group. There are usually 2-4 common meals a week, and other shared resources. In the case of an urban community like this one, shared bicycles, and perhaps even a car or two, are distinct possibilities. It’s all up to the core group of members/planners who begin the project.

Typically, a small number of households (6-12) form the core of the community and they are the ones to obtain the land, hire the developer/architect(s), obtain the entitlements and arrange for construction financing and completion. Other participants can buy in at any time, with all funds being credited toward the final purchase price of the private unit upon project completion (usually 2-3 years). In addition, there are often incentives for early buy-in, such as an additional credit toward purchase (some fraction of the amount, possibly up to 100% at various points in the process), to provide up-front capital. These early members also have first choice of the private units.

This project is intended to be adult-oriented, but not age-restricted. While it will not have playground equipment or other child-oriented amenities, families with children are welcome to join if they wish. They anticipate a mixture of retired and working families, and diversity in all its dimensions will be welcomed. The first phases of the group planning process, during which the power and promise of cohousing emerge, are scheduled to begin in November and December, so this would be a great time to explore the possibilities!

Contact Alex Kelter at akmd@mac.com for more information.


Clearing CEQA: Study vindicates California environmental law

November 3, 2016

By Matt Kramer

Sacramento News & Review

CEQA gets a bad rap but it’s what allows people to provide feedback on plans for development in CA.

Many critics of CEQA [the California Environmental Quality Act] say that the it impedes business and ties projects up in litigation. However, a new Rose Foundation study places the percentage of projects that end up in litigation at only 0.7 percent. This helps shed light on a much-misunderstood law. “CEQA isn’t just about litigation; it’s also about having to do … reviews on projects that have a significant impact on the environment … It’s really the state’s bedrock environmental law.” says Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Change and Business Program at the UCLA and UC Berkeley schools of law. #CEQA helps us protect our environment by requiring “that state and local agencies assess the potential significant environmental impacts of proposed development projects and work to minimize such impacts when practical.”

Read more here: https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/clearing-ceqa-study-vindicates-california/content?oid=22662052