Eco-Road Trip – Mountain View Cohousing Community

Mountain View Cohousing Community – Summary:

  • Who: Kate Forrest
  • What: Visited the Mountain View Cohousing Community in
  • When: Friday, March 30
  • Where: Mountain View, CA

Quick Resources:

My Route:

Planning my Eco-Inspired Road Trip Blog Post


My Travel Story:

Continuing on my travels, I left People Living Art, Community & Ecology (PLACE), and made it to my final planned stop for the day at Mountain View Cohousing Community, a seniors-only upscale, energy-efficient condominiums and common facilities collaborative neighborhood.

“Our 19 condominiums are quite large, ranging in size from 1360 to 2090 sq ft. In addition, we have 6,000 sq ft of shared indoor space. The common house (4000+ sq ft) has facilities for entertainment, exercise, group dining, and crafts. Parking is underground, with some charging stations for electric cars. We also have a workshop, bicycle and other storage spaces, a large outdoor patio, and shared green space. A historic farmhouse on the property has been restored, and has space for meetings and guests.

Our buildings are “green” and energy efficient, with universal design and elevator access to all floors. The units are very well insulated to minimize sound transmission and to minimize the need for heating or cooling, regardless of outside temperature. Our community has an organic garden, 20-tree fruit orchard, and flowers.” – Mountain View Cohousing Community FIC Profile

At the entrance of the cohousing community is a historically preserved farmhouse from 1885, the Abbott House, which was used as a meeting space and had a few rooms for resident’s guests.

Later on, my hostess, Kate Forrest, took me through the house and told me that there were possibilities of converting the house into a residence for a full-time healthcare provider as the residents continued to age and need additional assistance.

These are some photos of what the house looked like many years ago, before the local construction and building of the community where it sits today.

As I entered the property, I came across their raised-bed community garden and met the resident who was in charge of maintaining the gardens and a key part of the community’s gardening committee.

These are some of the condos that over look the garden. My hostess lives at the very far corner end of the community.

I met my hostess at her condominium, which was a larger floorplan being a corner condo. She lived alone in her 2-bedroom, but really enjoyed having a larger space for when she had family come to visit. She also had a green thumb with a small garden on the side of her condo.

She took me on a tour of their shared multi-leveled community space in the middle of the condo complex, which included the community kitchen and dining hall (prep & clean sign-up board), workout facilities and exercise room, office and meeting rooms, a private theater, and a roof top balcony for events.

This is the community kitchen, compared to other kitchens I’ve seen its relatively small, however, all the residents’ units have their own refrigerators and kitchens – so this space was designed smaller for the occasional community meal.

The view of the dining hall, with the cook and clean sign-up board near the far wall. The schedule is laid out on a three month timetable for plenty of notice.

This is a meeting room for the various committees, as well as a resident office space for working and printing.

The community movie theater, which also doubles as a meeting or presentation room.

The second floor workout facility, which is really only used by the more active residents – so a handful of people.

This is the view from the rooftop patio space down into the community gardens, and also of the neighboring apartments.

What I found really interesting was the amount of community communication in the hallway as you enter the common area on the first floor. There were several feedback surveys, including garden construction/additions like a future gazebo for residents to vote on, as well as local group field trip ideas and movie nights.

Here’s the survey for the proposed gazebo that the community will be adding to the gardens, all the ideas and designs are presented and marked so residents are all on the same page when it comes time to vote.

Community members also proposed group field trip activities in the area to help build community and get to know each other better.

The onsite movie theater also lets residents plan movie nights together, and reserve the space months in advance.

After leaving, I decided to drive to Fresno, CA, instead of driving along the coastal highway. I’ve heard of Fresno mentioned a lot in passing, and in the news/movies and wondered why, so I decided to check it out and see what it was all about.

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