Co-housing Community Almost Complete

April 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new housing project being called "Fresno's greenest neighborhood" is just months away from completion, after nearly four years of planning. "La Querencia" is a co-housing community. There are 28 private homes, but residents share amenities like a pool and a community room where they will participate in community meals several times a week.

The homes face each other with a pathway in between. "That's probably the key thing about the design. It is people friendly not necessarily automobile friendly," said future resident George Burman.

Its members want La Querencia to be like an old fashioned neighborhood where people know and rely on their neighbors. Though they haven't moved in yet, residents have already developed strong relationships.

"It's knowing these wonderful people and getting to know them over the four years. Working together, having parties together, socializing together, getting to know each other's ups and down and becoming family to each other is really what it boils down to," said Pat Looney-Burman.

"The idea fascinated me from the beginning, in terms of community and that kind of stuff, " said future resident James Mullooly.

Mullooly is an anthropologist at Fresno State and is one of the group's newest members. He and his wife first learned of co-housing about a year ago and are looking forward to raising their kids around people they know and trust. Their closest family members are in Milwaukee.

Violette Mullooly said her two children have become attached to the other co-housing members during the past year. "They found the grandparents, the uncles and the aunts, and the friends and their cousins," said Mullooly.

The members of La Querencia are also dedicated to living "green". The homes are being built with state of the art green building materials and technologies. "It's not just the construction of the buildings, but the way we will live in them in terms of saving energy and resources," said Burman.

Co-housing is organized much like a homeowner's association and once complete, residents will share in decision making and chores. They hope to move in during the summer.


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