‘Co-housing’ may come to Pemberton 

It may not be for everyone; but at least five households in the Sea to Sky corridor are interested in moving out of traditional homes and into co-housing.

Unlike co-ops, co-housing neighbourhoods are run like stratas except they have extensive shared facilities, like a common house or playground - and a larger focus on communal living.

"Right now, most of the interest is from established families," explained Peter Scholtz, a certified planner who is behind the local co-housing push.

"We have five households quite interested in an eco-village concept, and we are aiming to have about 10 households before spending money to look for land."

About 20 households are needed for an entire neighbourhood.

Over the past month, Scholtz has presented to the Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton councils to describe the co-housing concept and explain his desire to bring it to the corridor.

He also hopes to hold a community meeting this June in Pemberton, which he added is the most likely area in the corridor for the first co-housing neighbourhood.

"I think this is really exciting," said Scholtz.

"It should fit the community-based culture in the Sea to Sky quite well."

Among his supporters is Marla Zucht, general manager of the Whistler Housing Authority, who wrote her Masters thesis on the concept in 2000.

"I do think it has some merits," said Zucht.

"It is an interesting way of creating built environments that support community interaction."

According to Scholtz, eleven co-housing neighbourhoods currently exist within British Columbia, and there are a total of 25 projects in Canada. He added that in Denmark, co-housing makes up 10 per cent of the housing stock. 

Scholtz can be contacted at ngaurahoe@gmail.com.


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