You’ve Got Questions - We’ve Got Answers
How many people are in the community?
We currently have residents in 11 homes, with seven more homes already built or under construction.
Who is in charge of the HOA? What is the HOA fee?
No one? All of us? Although legally our community is set up as an HOA, we are different from any housing association you’ve heard about. There is no leader of the HOA and we don’t elect members. Instead, our community is administered by a series of committees (called “circles”). Each circle is responsible for one aspect of the community, such as community life, gardening, common structures, finance, marketing, and a coordinating circle. Every resident of the community (yes, even teens and kids if they’re interested!) is encouraged and welcome to join one or more circles that align with their interests to help our community grow and thrive.
Our monthly HOA fee is $150 and includes water, sewer, trash, and recycling costs, as well as access to and use of the common house, picnic shelter/fire pit, shared tools and work space, two guest cabin suites, social events, bike storage, and shared garden produce.
How much do I have to be involved?
We are happy to have residents determine their own level of involvement in the community. There are many, many options for involvement from participating in circle meetings to gardening to taking photos of events to watering plants to washing dishes to bringing cookies to community meals to making sure the s’mores cupboard is stocked to teaching your neighbor to use the electric trimmer. We believe all residents are important parts of the community and have unique strengths to offer. We hope that once you get settled you will be excited to join in the life of the community and we will help you find the best space to use your own special skill set.
What are meetings like?
Efficient and equitable! We use a meeting style called “dynamic governance” or “distributed leadership” to help us run meetings and organize our circles. Distributed leadership prioritizes efficiently run meetings that ensure every voice is heard. (Yes, it sounds too good to be true - but it actually works!) We discuss all aspects of the community by speaking in rounds and make decisions once all angles are considered. Most circles meet around once per month.
Is Bloomington Cohousing good for kids?
It’s pretty idyllic actually. Because all the parking is located on the outside of the property, the center of the neighborhood is extremely safe for kids to run and play. Multi-generational living allows kids to get to know a variety of people. There are three playgrounds within a one-minute walk of the neighborhood and one more within a five-minute walk. The forest around the neighborhood is filled with trails, small wooden bridges, log balance beams, and rope swings to explore and the close proximity to the YMCA is fantastic for swimming, summer camps, and soccer games. Bloomington Cohousing is also close to elementary and high schools.
Is it easy to get to know people?
Bloomington Cohousing is designed for connection! As soon as you move in you will already have built-in friends who are excited to share fire pit evenings, porch chats, community meals, moving assistance, and tool help. All our neighbors are friendly and welcoming, while still being respectful of boundaries.
What if I want privacy? I need to focus on working from home or just want some quiet time…
No problem! Bloomington Cohousing is committed to deeply respecting residents’ privacy. Many residents work from home and enjoy the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, as well as the excellent natural light of the homes and views of the forest. The balance of public and private spaces in Bloomington Cohousing allows everyone to find the experience they need. Residents are respectful of personal homes and primarily plan social events for shared spaces.
Who mows the grass?
We do (at least for this year)! Each resident is responsible for caring for their own small yard (and a couple resident teens are available for hire for personal mowing). The community organizes a schedule of volunteer mowers, trimmers, and sweepers for all the common areas. All community tasks are completed on a fully voluntary basis. Some residents volunteer for mowing, while others volunteer for shoveling or salting in the winter, and others focus on less-physically demanding tasks.
However, because we re-evaluate all our policies at least once a year, all current policies could change. For example, in the future we could hire a lawn service, or even pay one resident to do all the mowing if that makes sense at that time.
What is the process if I want to change the interior design of a house model?
You just need to let us know. You would then work with our architectural team to customize the home to fit your needs. This would be charged on an hourly or fixed fee basis, depending on the scope of the design changes.
Can I add a basement to the house?
What if I want a certain house model on a specific lot?
The site plan found here shows which homes fit on which lots. It varies, depending on the footprint of the home and the footprint of the lot.
How big is the property?
A little over 3.5 acres
Will there be any commercial properties built on the site?
No. The only extras built on the property are the common house, the cabin, and picnic, and bike shelters. These will all be owned by the HOA.
What is a PUD?
This is a Planned Unit Development. Wikipedia does better a better job at explaining this than we can.
Do we pay individual property tax?
The homes are owned privately by each homeowner and will be taxed like any other private home.
Can we have solar panels?
Yes! In fact, all homes will be prewired and ready for solar. Four residents already have solar.
What is the size of the common gardening area?