Tour the East Bay's most innovative, smallest, largest, and newest cohousing neighborhoods - with no driving - as part of National Cohousing Open House Day! Spend the day on board our exclusive charter bus, compare notes with other cohousing seekers, learn from residents of established cohousing neighborhoods, and meet the pioneers forming new communities in the area.
You'll save time and hassle, reduce your environmental impacts, and participate in a traveling workshop. Plus, we're serving lunch, providing refreshments, providing a map and context for each place we visit, and a roving community. Plus, we'll get to visit some spots not open for the open house day, as a bonus exclusive. And we'll provide a copy of Communities magazine for everyone on the bus.
Your hosts will be Cohousing Coaches Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris (right), regional organizers for Cohousing California. Together, they've lived in two cohousing neighborhoods, advised many, visited over 110, and served on national cohousing and communities-movement boards over the past two decades. They regularly conduct highly-rated cohousing workshops and seminars. They run the world's largest Intentional Communities MeetUp group, East Bay Cohousing, with over 4200 members.
- Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9 AM - 6 PM (approximately)
- Location: Starting and ending at Berkeley Cohousing and visiting half a dozen area communities.
- Cost: $100 per person, with many discounts available for cohousing residents, couples, triads, East Bay Cohousing supporting members, students, and groups. Includes transportation, non-alcoholic refreshments, lunch, and Communities magazine, plus an on-board workshop and guidance at each community, and the Cohousing Forum at Pleasant Hill Cohousing.
- Advance Purchase Required. If you have any trouble with payment via this page, please contact East Bay Cohousing at 510-842-6224.
- Limited Seating Available. No, we won't overbook or drag you out like United.
- All purchases are Final. The bus will not wait for you. If we know you can't make it and we have a waiting list, we may attempt to fill your seat and give you a refund if we do, but there's no guarantee.
- Children are welcome to join us. However, every tour participant must have their own seat, and you are responsible for supervising your children at each stop, and it may be a long, tiring day without nap time.
Please note that this schedule is subject to change as we juggle to include more communities and respect the schedules of resident hosts.
8:30 AM: Start arriving at Berkeley Cohousing for registration. Please DO NOT arrive before this time. Light refreshments and coffee will be available.
Note: Advance Ticket Purchase Required - please don't bring extra unplanned guests. We'll post a note on this page and by email if there are extra spaces available at the last minute. Address will be shared in confirmation email when you get a ticket. Location is 5 blocks from North Berkeley BART, but please note that there will be a bus bridge between Lake Merritt and Fruitvale stations on the tour day, so please allow at least 20 minutes extra if you are coming from the Dublin/Pleasanton or Warm Springs/South Fremont lines.
9:00 AM: Please arrive by this time so we can begin the tour. We'll get to know one another and go over the plan for the day, and then tour Berkeley Cohousing.
Note: This early time is for bus tour participants only; other National Cohousing Open House Day participants will not be welcome onsite until later.
10:00 AM: We board the bus and head off to Golden Gate Cohousing, the area's only all-rental cohousing, in North Oakland (near Emeryville). Afterwards, if time allows, may swing by a cohousing-style Tiny Home Village/Sustainability Center and the region's first cohousing neighborhood, and/or another area community.
11:15 AM: We stop at Kingfisher Cohousing on Brookdale, a re-forming community that has homes for sale. The community is gradually adding members as long-term renters move out or join in.
12:00 PM: We get back on the bus and zip over to Temescal Creek Cohousing, the area's best-known Retrofit Cohousing ("N Street Model") community, where members gradually knocked down fences between existing private homes, and later constructed a Common House. If we're on schedule, we'll have lunch here.
1:15 PM: Back on the bus to head "East of the Hills" to visit the area's first new-build greenfield community, Pleasant Hill Cohousing. Take a walk around and then gather in the Common House to hear from community members in a cohousing forum at 2:30 PM.
3:30 PM: We will zip out of the forum (no dilly-dallying!) in order to make it to the newest area community, Phoenix Commons, the area's first senior cohousing, right on the Bay, where homes are still available for sale. We'll wrap up here with an informal reception with reflection on the day.
- 4:30 PM: Back on the bus for the last time, as we return to Berkeley Cohousing by 5 (traffic allowing). Please note that the community will not be available for further touring at this time.
We want everyone to feel welcome on our tour. However, we were not able to obtain a wheelchair-accessible bus, so getting in and out will require climbing and descending a few steps and navigating a narrow aisle to your seat. Please do let us know about your access needs so we can make arrangements for you either on this tour or a later trip.
Note that visiting several cohousing common houses and homes will require climbing and descending several steps, and walking up to a quarter mile per community.
Some homes may require that visitors remove shoes to enter, so please bring easily-removable footwear if you don't want to get delayed.
Raines says: This regular monthly community tour and open house of the East Bay's biggest and most "suburban" cohousing neighborhood, Pleasant Hill cohousing, the only "new-build" classic cohousing community in the region, the largest in the East Bay, and a lovely community.
Note that this is not an official MeetUp run by East Bay Cohousing, but we will pass along RSVPs that come in here, and you can use this event listing to coordinate carpooling, bike riding, and the like.
Normally the first Sunday of the month, the January tour will take place the second Sunday to avoid New Year's Day.
Visit Pleasant Hill Cohousing's page on the EBCOHO MeetUp for more info, links, and current openings.
If you need to cancel your reservation, or decide not to go, please let Pleasant Hill's volunteer tour guide know as soon as possible!
There are 32 units, grouped in various configurations ranging from 2-6 homes per building. The buildings were constructed with wood framing, stucco outer walls, and corrogated metal roofing. The smallest units are 640 sq ft one-bedrooms; the largest are 1579 sq ft four-bedrooms.
Each home has its own kitchen. The homes are owned individually as condominiums, with some rentals.
Our 3,835 sq ft Common House contains a kitchen, dining room ("great room"), sitting room, laundry, kids room, teens/older kids room, crafts room, guest rooms, and bathrooms.
The Common House is the only building in the project that has air conditioning. However to minimize the use of air conditioning, the building also has a cooling tower with large fans that can be used in the evening to pull cooler air into the building and push hot air out.
Other common facilities include swimming pool, hot tub, play area, workshop, bike shed, organic garden, and granite boulders from original site - both decorative and used by children for climbing.
We're conveniently located near Highway 680 and public transportation, with easy access to Walnut Creek, shopping, and recreation.
Pleasant Hill, population 32,000, is located 30 miles east of San Francisco, 4 miles north of the I-680/Hwy 24 interchange. Mostly a residential community with scattered retail/commercial areas, it is bounded by the cities of Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord, and Martinez. Pleasant Hill has recently (2000) redeveloped its downtown to create a contemporary shopping district just blocks from the site. In addition, an abundance of good restaurants and shops are within easy driving distance. The city has good recreation programs for all ages and regional walking/biking trails traverse it.
Iron Horse Trail
A walking and biking trail - the Iron Horse Trail (so named because it's on the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way) - runs alongside the site and connects to the Pleasant Hill BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station (~1 mile) and downtown Walnut Creek (~4 miles). The 24-mile trail goes north-south from Concord to Dublin and connects to several other trails that traverse the county making for great biking opportunities.
A neighborhood park is located just the other side of Fair Oaks Elementary School adjacent to the site. Briones Regional Park and Mt. Diablo State Park are located nearby providing numerous opportunities for hiking and recreation. There are several health clubs in Pleasant Hill including the YMCA.
Diablo Valley Community College and JFK University are located in Pleasant Hill, and there are several city and county adult education programs in the area.
There are multiple venues nearby for movies, theater, music and other performing arts including the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, the Willows Theater Company in Concord, and the Concord Pavillion.
There are farmers markets in Pleasant Hill (May-Nov) and Walnut Creek (year-round). Several community members participate in a CSA farm, Terra Firma Farms, with a weekly delivery of locally grown organic fruits and vegies made even more convenient because we are the drop site.
Part of Affordable Housing Week with East Bay Housing Organizations. Start at Berkeley Cohousing and bike to several area communities demonstrating innovations in member-led affordability, land trusts, limited equity cooperatives, and more.
We'll stop at one of the communities for a (sponsored) lunch and conversation.
Note that starting point is near North Berkeley BART and University Ave.; on street parking is available but please DO NOT park in the lot. Secure bike racks available onsite.