What is Cohousing?

Manzanita Village is a resident-developed, cooperative neighborhood, modeled after the Cohousing communities of Denmark. Residents take an active part in planning and designing our village.

We are united by mutual desires to know our neighbors, live an environmentally friendly lifestyle and enjoy a safe, friendly atmosphere for ourselves and our families.

Cohousing offers:

  • A balance of privacy and community
  • Intergenerational relationships
  • An extended family of caring neighbors
  • Safe play areas, trails and hiking paths
  • An environmentally friendly lifestyle

So what is unique about living in this cohousing community?

Manzanita Village is neither operated nor developed by an outside entity. The members, through their active participation, perform the numerous functions required for the Village to exist and grow. The ‘co’ in cohousing can be explained as the prefix of the word co-operation, as in operating/functioning with others in a productive endeavor. A person who chooses to live in this cohousing community is choosing to live in engaged co-operation with other members. And, interestingly, it is through co-operating with other members that we actually develop what is called “community.” Living in the Village and not actively operating/functioning with other members, on behalf of the greater good of the community, defeats the purpose for being in a cohousing community and, in actuality, denies the individual member the unique opportunity to truly experience the reality of “being in community.”

So what is unique about cohousing, and specifically this cohousing community, is that it is a co-operative living adventure with people who are operating and developing an intentional and experiential new way for individuals and families to live with one another in a lovely community setting while learning and practicing new ways of relating.

So why choose us?

Manzanita Village is over 20 years old and has survived the growing pains of learning how to make decisions by consensus. We have a very strong financial position and a robust capital reserve fund to insure that special assessments for home owners will never be an issue. Our development model has resulted in a wide variety of home options not found in most communities where your choices may be limited to variations on a few standard models. And finally, we have a strong, loving community of people that care for each other and our common environment.


How We Are Organized

Community Meetings

Plenary meetings are held about once a month, usually on the third Sunday, with an agenda set by the Steering Committee. Items on the agenda are outside of the mandate of a specific committee and of community-wide interest. Decisions are made by consensus, considering the mission, vision, and goals of the community. An Annual Meeting is the only meeting at which voting takes place, for items required by state law for home owners associations.

Committee meetings are held as required depending on work to be accomplished. The mandate of each committee is decided by consensus in a plenary meeting. Thereafter, each committee operates independently and makes decisions within its area of responsibility.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee consists of one member from each of the Standing committees. Three property owners that are members of the Steering Committee comprise the officers of the Board of Directors of the Home Owners Association to fulfill state legal requirements.

Standing Committees

The community has six major committees that meet regularly to make decisions for the community. Each member is expected to participate in at least one of these committees.

  • Common House: Oversees scheduling of rooms and events, reviews and recommends policies, manages office in cooperation with other committees, coordinates furnishings, and purchases consumable supplies.
  • Finance: Prepares the annual budget, oversees data entry of all financial transactions, pays bills, deposits checks. Supervised by the Treasurer.
  • Experiencing Cohousing: Integrates new members into the Village, organizes teams for community dinners, plans frequent informal events such as movie nights, parties, and trips.
  • Facilities and Architectural Review: Performs repairs and oversees development of new infrastructure. Also acts as the Architectural Review Committee of the Home Owners association which approves existing home changes, approves new home design guidelines and new home plans, and maintains and updates documentation for prospective home builders.
  • Grounds: Oversees development of outdoor projects. Organizes work parties as required for outside upkeep such as weeding, streets, parking lots, and irrigation.
  • Marketing & Records: Responds to inquiries from prospective villagers, recruits prospective villagers through activities and advertisements. Maintains the website and all membership records.
  • Process: Oversees facilitator training in the consensus process, makes facilitator assignments for meetings, reviews and recommends meeting procedures, conducts orientations for new Villagers on the consensus process and other procedures, and maintains the Villagers Guide policy and procedures manual.

Task Teams

The community creates adhoc task teams as required to perform short term project tasks.


Clubs are volunteer groups within the community. Currently, the gardeners plan and maintain the community garden.