(Central Contra Costa County, California)
The idea for this community originated with Barbara Lynch and the late Ted Lynch back in 1993. The first "recruitment" meeting was held in June 1997. The project took a similar course as other cohousing communities, except that Pleasant Hill Cohousing pioneered a start-up self-financing package, which we named the "Sweet Deal". We offered community members and their extended families the opportunity to invest in the project with an appealing rate of return of 11%. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in financing costs stayed within the community rather than going outside to venture capitalists, and the community received that share of the leftover money for use in (otherwise unavailable) capital improvements. We were all very happy with this arrangement...to put it mildly!