News

Senior co-housing proposed for Calderon Ave.

A property adjacent to Landels School has been secured by investors with the intent of building a unique co-housing community for seniors where meals and other chores would be shared by over a dozen households.

The one-acre property, located at 445 Calderon Ave., currently contains the remnants of an old orchard and the 1880s home of Anne Bakotich, a long time resident who died in 2007.

A first of its kind on the Peninsula, the proposal includes 20 condos on the one-acre lot and "extensive common facilities," said Architect Charles Durrett, who is working in partnership with local developer Wayne Aozasa on the project. A 4,000-square-foot common building could include "kids' rooms, a dining room, guest rooms, music rooms and workshops," Durrett said. The zoning allows up to 25 homes.

Architect Durrett will speak at Books Inc. on Thursday about the project at 7:30 p.m. He is known as a co-housing guru and author of books on the subject.

The homes would cost between $750,000 and $1.1 million for units between 1,400 and 2,000 square feet in size, according an e-mail from Sue Burwen posted on the project's online discussion group.

The development would be designed and paid for by the people who will live in it, Durrett said. More seniors are sought for the project, but so far a handful of seniors who already know each other have signed on, including David and Sue Burwen of Mountain View.

In a press release, Durrett says senior co-housing is "the best hope for seniors to both significantly enhance their quality of life (I haven't seen anybody have as much fun since the college dorms) and live much lighter on the planet at the same time. First big hurdle, get past the myth of the single family house."

The project will also have to get past the City Council. By a narrow margin, the City Council voted against buying the property in 2007, as many council members were interested in preserving the historic home. The whole property was for sale for $3.2 million at the time. Burwen said there is interest from someone who would buy the home and move it to a different location.

"I've seen a lot of developments where they did save the house and restore it as part of the development -- we need to look at that," said council member Jac Siegel in 2007, adding that "several of us feel strongly that way."

More information about the project can be found on yahoo groups at groups.yahoo.com/groups/mountainviewcohousing, by emailing mvcohousing@earthlink.net or by phoning 650-965-9590.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

What are their plans for the historic home? I hope they are not planning to destroy any Mountain View history.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Daniel DeBolt
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Sep 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Daniel DeBolt is a registered user.

Sue Burwen said there is interest from someone who would move the home to another location.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I'm so sad about this. This was one of the last original houses along this stretch of street and I love love love it. So sad to see it sold off to yet another multi unit monstrosity like the ones on the corner of Calderon and Dana. Makes me want to leave the area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local senior
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I think moving the house to a more suitable site is a wonderful idea.
The City can particpate with the developer, possibly donate a parcel and hire a preservation team to rehabilitate the building at its own cost and historical desires, thus allowing this kind of project to move forward because we are not getting any younger. This concept sounds like just what the City senior residents need not another place for the City Council Members to erect a commemorative plaque for themselves.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local senior
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm

To Lame: When you move can you contact the City and make your site, (if you actually own it) available to the City for a possible site for the house??? Your love and legacy will be appreciated.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2009 at 9:15 pm

It's exciting to see cohousing finally come to the Peninsula.... I've been working with folks looking for ways to make it happen for 13 years, and avidly following the progress for this latest effort, eager for them to make their public debut. While there have been two small retrofit-style cohousing neighborhoods using existing apartment buildings/condos, San Mateo EcoVillage and Tortuga in a less-urbanized corner of Mountain View,

In my living in two cohousing neighborhoods (in the East Bay) and visiting ninety across the country over the past decade, I've found, over and over again, incredible people, supportive community, and neighborhoods that start green and get greener.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the quality and effort going into engagement in community. Ask any cohousing neighbor: while it may be easy to fall into "Not-In-My-Backyard" resistance to new development, we tend to help organize the greater neighborhood, provide meeting space, and add additional "eyes on the street" making places safer.

The modern approach the Mountain View folks are taking goes beyond conventional "aging in place" physical retrofitting of homes to help people stay there longer as they grow rich in years, by getting the future residents engaged in the process of creating a whole neighborhood with a culture that helps them maintain independence through interdependence. They watch out for one another, run the place together, and stay active, designing consciously to provide the types of space that become more important in later years.

One comment on the article: Chuck isn't just "known as a cohousing guru" - with his wife, fellow Architect Katie McCamant, he imported the concept from Denmark, coined the term, and developed dozens of communities across the U.S. over the past quarter century.

To see info about other folks coming to Chuck's event tomorrow night and to learn about other events, including openings in San Mateo and potential in Pacifica , join our MeetUp group for Silicon Valley/Peninsula cohousing:
Web Link

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Planning for Sustainable Communities
at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing


 +   Like this comment
Posted by David M Burwen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Chuck Durrett from Cohousing Partners will be giving a talk about Senior Cohousing at Books, Inc., 301 Castro Street, Mt View at 7:30 pm Thursday night (10/1). The Mountain View Cohousing Community will be hosting a tour of their proposed cohousing site at 445 Calderon Street at 9:30 on Friday (10/2).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gail Haspert
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 1, 2009 at 9:05 am

I am glad to see co-housing come to Mountain View. A senior co-housing facility is a great idea.

It would be great to have other multi-generational co-housing sites, where children, working adults, and retired people could enjoy each others' company and share community facilities such as fitness, pools, gardens, computer centers, and craft centers. The young and old have much to share, and are traditionally isolated into their respective age groups.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SMG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm

No one is going to save the house because no one is going to donate land and no one is going to put the money into a house that is in such poor condition. Dont expect the city to bail out the property owner for letting the house linger in its current state. This property has been on the market for a few years. The city took a look and decided to pass. It wasnt a close vote


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bernie Brightman
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Was at the Durrett-Burwen talk tonight. Extremely well attended. Lots of overheated talk about co-housing, but not one word about saving the house.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by local senior
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2009 at 10:30 am

Visited the site yesterday. Its just an old house with little or no
historical value. It would be a waste of resources and efforts to save that house, it is quite rundown and no surprise the Council passed on it the first time. I looked up the County records and it was built around 1926. There are many of us older than that house with no one knocking at my door to preserve me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2009 at 11:18 am

The house was actually built c. 1880 - making it one of the oldest homes in Mountain View, perhaps predated only by the Rengstorff House. Anything that's pushing 130 years old in Mountain View at least deserves a little bit of effort to save. Buildings from those pioneer days are very, very rare. It's not a mansion, but it is a Victorian farm house - probably made of good sound materials like old-growth redwood and of sturdy construction to survive well over a century.

Maybe the house can be incorporated into the project. I've seen co-housing projects in other parts of the Bay Area that did a wonderful job of weaving in older structures into new housing complexes. Makes them much more interesting places. Or maybe the Historical Asssociation could reduce the size of their proposed museum at the Cuesta Annex and relocate the house there as a place to store some of their collection. The Calderon house was a farmhouse surrounded by old orchards and open space - so the Cuesta Annex would be an appropriate and contextual relocation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SMG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

A lot of wishful thinking and maybe's about saving the house, but it will take at least 100K to restore and more money to move the house. Dont see anyone offering money to bail out the neglect of the current owner.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ted Pearlman
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:38 am

It's nice to see a cohousing community go up in an affluent area. It means that cohousing and intentional communities are becoming more mainstream.

Ted Pearlman
Founder
Web Link


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