N Street Guiding Principles

Adopted by consensus on November 10, 2014 

Introduction:   In communities using consensus, principles help guide members in their individual and group decisions and actions. These principles provide insight into the values of N Street Cohousing.  They provide guidance but are not rules that bind all future community decisions. 

1.  It’s your house. It’s your yard.  We control what happens in our yards and our homes.  Community projects on a property need the consent of the members who live in those homes.  

2. Communication.  We encourage active, direct, and compassionate communication between individuals, between households, and throughout the community and neighborhood.

3.  Respect. We strive to treat each other with respect, mindful that people have different understandings of what respect means to them.

4.  Change.  We are an ever evolving and fluid community; we embrace change, while respecting tradition.

5.  Privacy.  We respect the privacy and diversity of each household residence and community members’ lives; if an issue impacts others beyond the household, we strive for open communication toward resolution.

6.  Cooperation and Sharing.  We support and benefit from the cooperative use of our backyards, our common house and the sharing of our resources. We recognize each household and individual’s right to make their own choices as to what to share or when to be cooperative.

7.  Peaceful.   We strive to be a peaceful community by creating a place that is physically and emotionally safe. We work to overcome verbal and other forms of abuse and harm as we recognize them. 

8.  Flexible Responsibilities.  We are fair and flexible regarding members’ responsibilities to the community. We encourage members to help meet our collective needs and vision by contributing time and energy to community related work and projects. In general, the more one puts into the community, the more one benefits from it. 

9.  Environmental ethic.  We want to enhance our individual and collective abilities to restore and maintain a healthy environment through activities including composting, sharing resources, reducing driving and raising awareness. 

10.  Diversity.  We are a non-discriminating community that welcomes diversity. This diversity includes a variety of ages, genders, racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds, sexual identities, disabilities, economic status, social classes, occupations, and spiritual identities. 

11.   Consensus. We strive for harmony among individuals and the community through many forms of consensus-based decision-making. If you care enough about an issue, put the time into reaching consensus on it.  If you don’t care to put in the needed effort, let it go and live well with the consensus of others.