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Cohousing project pushes forward

After waiting two years, members of the Wolf Creek Lodge cohousing project in Grass Valley are celebrating the beginning of construction.

The project recently received approval for an $8 million construction loan, and heavy equipment this week was out at the 8-acre site at the corner of West McKnight Way and Freeman Lane.

Developer Kathryn McCamant credited the perseverance of 21 household partners who bought into the project years ago and have met regularly to shape it.



“They really hung in there” after the credit market collapsed two years ago, leaving their project stranded just before it had been scheduled to start.

Thanks to a loan from First Community Bank of Santa Rosa, the project is set for completion by late 2011, McCamant said.




Today, partners will make their first visit to the construction site.

Phase one of construction will see building of a 30-unit condominium-style lodge, housing small units dedicated to residents McCamant called “active adults.”

“It’s designed for people moving down,” McCamant said. “We’re creating a place where people can stay engaged and healthy for a long time.”

The lodge has 30 units; seven still are available. Partners include many local residents, but the project also has drawn participants from out of the area, McCamant said.

Phase two will include 32 townhouses geared toward all ages. The project includes 3.5 acres of open space on the property that fronts Wolf Creek.

McCamant, president of CoHousing Partners LLC in Nevada City, and her husband, Charles Durrett, brought the cohousing concept to the United States after studying it in architecture school in Denmark.

Cohousing brings future residents into the planning process to design a community that fosters neighborliness, participation and cross-generational involvement with amenities such as common kitchens, laundry facilities and recreational areas maintained by residents.

The couple has developed other cohousing communities in Fresno, Cotati and Pleasant Hill in California and in Bellingham, Wash.

They live in western Nevada County’s first cohousing project, Nevada City Cohousing Community, off Highway 49 near downtown.


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