Policy Example: House - Additions

1 Context: The Ad Hoc Facilitators “think tank” (Dyan, Steve, Mike and Jerry) on additions agreed that we may have gone as far it is useful to go in the discussions of what has been called principles, values, and/or guidelines related to additions. In some Quaker meetings, when agreement is not reached on a particular issue they write a “process minute.” The process minute essentially records the “state of the art” of the discussion. We feel we have reached that point with additions – that whatever limited good may come from more discussion does not justify more community time. We are aware that some will be disappointed to let this issue rest without reaching agreement on principles, values, and/or guidelines related to additions. On the other hand there are many that feel a case by case approach to each proposed addition best serves the community. We do not foresee the community coming to agreement on this issue. So let us leave it here for now while acknowledging that the issue remains unresolved. What we can say is that we have explored deeply a range of concerns and values and listened well to each other. We have been successful in increasing our understanding of each other, and that the meaningful discussions we have had will deepen the design review process on additions for a long time to come.


1 Our community is organized legally as a condominium, and so the community owns the land, and therefore has an interest in any proposed “taking” of the land. The community owns the outside shell of all units, and therefore has interest in any “breaking” of that shell, whether it is windows or full-scale additions.

2 The Design Review Committee considers additions on a case by case basis, with final approval by the community at a General Meeting or through the Decision Board process. Abutters and other community members may have specific concerns about the direct personal impact of any proposed addition (for example, view corridors). Any member considering an addition to their unit should also be aware that many members hold values that may need to be addressed before final approval is given for a any particular addition.

3 The community has discussed but not reached consensus on principles and guidelines relative to additions. We note here some of the values and principles held by many in the community so that anyone considering additions is not surprised by community reactions to their proposals. A built environment which encourages connection and community
-Providing affordable living space
-Living lightly on the land
-Allowing individuals or families to meet their space needs as they change
-The gradual improvement of the built aesthetic over time
-Providing an improved built environment for those experiencing temporary or permanent physical impairment
-Preserving unbuilt space
-Living in peace, quiet and safety

3 In closing we note that we view concerns or objections raised in response to project proposals as beginnings of dialogues and not as vetoes.