Greyrock Commons is a cohousing community that Sovick Design /Builders built in 1995-1996. It is located on 16 acres of land about three miles northwest of "Old Town" Fort Collins, Colorado. With a spectacular view of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains , beautiful gardens, and connected neighbors , Greyrock Commons does not resemble typical housing developments. Designed as a cohousing community , Greyrock includes 30 energy efficient townhomes of various sizes clustered on six acres, each with its own small private yard or garden. The front doors of the homes face common areas or the central green where much community activity takes place. The site layout was designed to be pedestrian friendly and to minimize the impact of vehicles. Ten acres of the site are dedicated to open space that supports wildlife, walking paths, community vegetable gardens, and a large playing field . Within a half mile is the Poudre River and access to numerous bike and walking trails that follow the river and wind through Old Town Fort Collins.
In addition to 30 homes, the community includes Common buildings: a spacious and functional Common House , a large storage shed with adjoining chicken house and yard , and a passive solar shop with an adjoining garage for short term auto and equipment repairs
The Common House serves as an "overflow" kitchen, dining room, guest room and gathering place for all members of the community.
What is Cohousing?
Cohousing is the name of a type of collaborative housing that attempts to overcome the alienation of modern subdivisions in which no-one knows their neighbors, and there is no sense of community. It is characterized by private dwellings with their own kitchen, living-dining room etc, but also extensive common facilities. The common house may include a large dining room, kitchen, lounges, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, library, workshops, and childrens's space.
Usually, cohousing communities are designed and managed by the residents, and are intentional neighborhoods: the people are consciously committed to living as a community; the physical design itself encourages that and facilitates social contact. The typical cohousing community has 20 to 30 single family homes along a pedestrian street or clustered around a courtyard. Residents of cohousing communities often have several optional group meals in the common building each week.
This type of housing began in Denmark in the late 1960s, and spread to North America in the late 1980s. There are now more than a hundred cohousing communities completed or in development across the United States and Canada.