The Commons at Windekind is unique in the Cohousing Community in three ways:
First, it is small community of nine single family homes, including ourselves. The intent is to create a tight knit community that adheres to historic settlement patterns and access to the superb natural resources in the area.
The Commons, is a transition model that shifts land and buildings from our private ownership into a Community model of ownership that includes nine home parcels of one acre or less that will be individually owned. The community benefits from a lot of resources already in place: buildings, gardens, trails, lawns, a 13-acre meadow, roads, water and septic and a 1/5th scale garden railway, the last is, perhaps, a first for a cohousing community. This developed landscape is foundational saving costs and time, it has a sense of history and established place. that can be sustained and enriched into the future.
We are blessed in the stunning beauty of these mountains and Huntington Vermont. Although, we have had busy professional careers as teachers, away from the farm, our constant and enduring life purpose has been to create beauty in this place that we love. Our idea of beauty, is simplicity, durability and designing with nature. Yet, we are pragmatist, the environment that we seek has to be affordable and practical for a community whose hallmark is diversity of skills, age, background and income.
The Commons is designed to appeal to artisans and gardening enthusiasts, persons with a strong interest in the environment, sustainable living, outdoor recreation, Nordic skiing and physical fitness. The intent, utilizing Permaculture design principles, is to preserve and protect this land while also provide members with the opportunity to use these resources for home based professional offices, farming, artisan and shop activity, and commercial or personal gardening.
The overall cost of owning a parcel and the 1/9 share of the 132 acre Commons land ranges from $140,000 to $170,000, including all permit and infrastructure costs. These prices are commensurate with land prices in the area, with the added benefit of access to Common land and its many resources.
Working closely, with a highly qualified local builder, we have developed general plans for energy efficient buildings using locally sourced materials. We are able to price new construction in the $200 to $225 per square foot range, an 800 square foot home would cost between $160,000 and $180,000 and the complete package including all infrastructure in place and the 1/9th Common share would cost between $300,000 to $320,000. These costs are higher than we would like, but, we believe justified, by the high quality construction and planning that has gone into the project and our exquisite landscape.
In our architectural work we have developed designs for buildings that can grow is size as a family expends and there are ample provisions for outbuilding that could be guest houses, residential structures, a shop, studio and office. The idea is to help families buy in as inexpensively as possible and then expand as a family expands and other needs for space arise like a professional space. Some families who have bought in want and need structures that are larger than 800 square feet, perhaps as much as 1,600 and even 2,000 square feet.
One of the nine parcels, has a buildings called Breidablick, originally built as long term vacation rentals, it will be retrofitted into comfortable and interesting family homes. The costs of Breidablick is $340,000 including 1/9th share of the 132-acre Common Land. For more information about Breidablick please go to- http://cohousing.org/node/3605.
The most outstanding geographic feature of the farm is that the residential area is located on a large south facing bowel facing the spine of the Green Mountains. The area is perfect for sunlight and solar gain. These features have allowed us to weave commonly owned land thought-out the residential portion of the community giving members very direct access to the resources of Common areas like lawns and pocket gardens, 25 miles of hiking trails, ponds, 4 steams, a 13-acre meadow that can be developed for gardening and agricultural purposes.
If you want to learn more go to our web site (http://www.windekindfarms.com) and its section on the Commons. The site contains many photos of the farm and the area along with more detailed descriptions of the project.
We have put a lot of time and thought into developing our core frame work documents that this link- core documents- will connect you to. Or pick up the phone and give us a call at 802-434-4455 or E-mail us at: (Mark [at] windekindfarms [dot] com)
We would love to hear from you and Thank You.
Mark and Marijke
mark [at] windekindfarms [dot] com