FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have received many questions about cohousing over the years! We'll try to respond to many of them as well as a few others. Do you have a question you don’t see? Drop us a message here.
Is Millrace Cohousing a PUD?
Yes, our PUD (planned unit development) is comprised of 14 resident lots, one lot for our Common House and our Common Spaces. Homeowners are automatically members of the HOA (home owners association, specifically Millrace Cohousing Association). Members own their residence (structure), their lot (the land) and 1/14th share of the Common Space. There is a Declaration and Covenant and Bylaws for the ownership in and the operation of our community. We are a self-governing entity and work toward consensus in our decision-making.
How large is the development?
We are a small community. The total area of the Millrace Cohousing is a mere 2.6 acres including about one acre as Common Space. The average lot size is 4,954 square feet. The Common House will be under 1000 sq. ft. There are five residences and the Common House that border the hydraulic canal (Millrace Canal) and nine residences located on River Race Drive.
Are there HOA fees?
Yes. Although we use the language of annual assessment, we operate officially as an HOA. The Members set the annual operating budget with input and recommendations from the Finance Committee. We value active participation from Members for the care of our Common Spaces and are able to keep annual costs at a minimum. The annual assessment for 2023 is $400. However, we anticipate it will increase post-2023 as the Common House becomes operational.
Do you pay individual property tax?
Yes. Homes are privately owned and Members are responsible for their property taxes. Since Common Space is owned by the HOA, in Indiana, it is not taxed separately and we do not pay any additional taxes for that property.
How often do you meet together?
Our community gathers for monthly potlucks planned for by the Social Committee. We value this regularly scheduled time for fellowship. Members frequently get together in smaller groups to share meals or beverages. We currently have Members’ meetings on the first Monday of each month. We anticipate once the development and Common House are completed, we will meet less regularly. An official annual business meeting is scheduled in the fall. Committees meet as often as deemed necessary by each committee.
How large are the houses?
Homes vary in size. Some have 3 or 4 bedrooms and several baths while others are 1 to 2 bedroom homes. There is a limit to the main floor square footage due to the constraints of the lot size. As a result, some Members have built a second ½ story or finished the basement. Most homes range 1000 to 1500 square feet for the main floor living area.
Do houses have basements?
Yes, some homes do. In fact, the majority of our homes have basements many of which include finished habitable spaces. Others have large crawl spaces and some are built on slabs.
What is parking like for homeowners and guests?
Homeowners along the street (River Race Drive) park in their garages and driveways. Carports are on permanent lease to homeowners on the Millrace side, although one home does have a garage. Guests may park in the community parking areas on the north side (Purl Street extension) or in the larger Millrace Cohousing parking lot on the south end (corner of River Race Drive and Douglas Street). There is also city parking just north of our community.
What kind of property additions are permitted?
We do have limits or restrictions on building within our community. One would first need to review Goshen City building ordinances for rules and regulations. Any addition or modification to the house structure requires approval by both the Architectural Design and Landscape Committee. Any design stipulations are specified by the PUD or the Declarations and Covenants.
Can we have solar panels?
Yes, please do! We strongly encourage renewable energy sources. We have built our homes to be as energy efficient as possible. Our solar-powered homes have achieved Net Zero energy use. We strive to reduce our energy consumption footprint.
Are there landscaping or vegetation requirements?
Yes and no. Landscaping around individual homes is a personal preference and the responsibility of individual homeowners. There are some restrictions to avoid blocking a neighbor’s solar access. We are committed to creating low maintenance common green spaces and the use of native vegetation in these areas.
Is there canal accessible for fishing or canoeing/kayaking?
Yes. There is access to the canal near the Douglas Street footbridge and at several other locations further away from the community. In the future, we hope to provide access from a location on common property.
What kind of volunteer time is expected of members of the Cohousing community?
Active participation is an expectation of all members. We currently do not track or require a designated number of volunteer hours. Members contribute time and energy in a multiple of ways depending on interests, gifts and abilities. Some members serve in leadership roles, on committees or provide labor on work projects.
Which specific committees exist within the community?
There are four standing committees: Architectural Design and Review, Common House, Grounds and Landscape. Social Events operates as a subcommittee under the Common House. We are in the process of merging the Grounds and Landscape committees with the existing Gardens subcommittee. We have established a New Member/Welcome Committee with a Social Media subcommittee. Finally, we have a Leadership Team (Presiding Officer, Recording Officer, Financial Officer/Treasurer and the Member serving as the developer) which manages an Archival committee and the Common House Building committee. The Treasurer also has a Finance Committee to assist.
Are there any lots available?
No, sorry. No lots remain for development. Construction of the final home was completed in December 2022.
Are there any homes for sale?
Again, no, sorry! There are no homes for sale at this time (2023). We anticipate turnover, however, as Members age and welcome interested parties to stay engaged with us. We plan to maintain a list of interested individuals for future ownership as homes become available.
What kind of approval is needed to live in Millrace Cohousing?
No approval is needed and we welcome any and all who are interested in cohousing. If a Member decides to sell their property, anyone is allowed to buy a property just as any other home on the market. We anticipate there will be strong interest and many homes may never go on the open market. The property will come with membership in Millrace Cohousing Association and all the rights and responsibilities associated with it. Therefore, we strongly encourage prospective buyers to thoroughly investigate the benefits and obligations of being a Member of Millrace Cohousing Association. We will gladly provide our community documents – Declarations & Covenant and Bylaws – so interested parties are appropriately informed and clearly aware of the expectations and responsibilities as well as the joys and benefits of cohousing participation.
Where can I learn more about cohousing?
The Cohousing Association of America www.cohousing.org
Foundation for Intentional Community www.ic.org
Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves by Kathryn McCamant
Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett