First Impressions of Greyrock Commons

Greetings from the Guppy.

It has been a full day in Fort Collins. After a restful night at the Common House at Riverrock we headed to Greyrock Commons located just up the road on the outskirts of town. Greyrock was established in 1997 and has 30 townhomes on about 6 acres of land.  The setting is absolutely breathtaking surrounded by the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and 10 acres of open space used for trails, community garden etc.

The place was quiet for a Sunday morning but it was very apparent to us as we strolled around that it was very kid centric with a big playground built into the common green. The landscaping was lovely, lush and nicely maintained.

The person who we were to meet did not show up but as people started to stir we asked if we could talk to someone. We ended up talking to a newer cohouser who moved there with his young family from Seattle. He shared openly about all the benefits and challenges of living there but emphasized that they have a great “positive social vibe.”

We then had the opportunity to sit with one of the original founding members and spoke to her for over an hour. She shared some of the things they did really well in the planning that included building the Common House first. By doing that we created the “glue” while the rest of the community was under construction. They also created different sized units that were designed to be accessible and allow for changing circumstances such as shrinking families, aging in place and accommodating caregivers.

The Common House and children’s playground

It was very apparent to us that a great deal of thought and foresight was put into the planning and design of this community. They even broke the rule of cohousing by including garages. But the way they did it was sensitive to the site and added to the overall cleanliness of the place.

This community has really endured and thrived, learning how to adapt to what works well for the community and balancing it with the needs of the residents. A great example of that is the community garden. Many of the residents have their own plots yet share in the “infrastructure” of the garden.

We liked what one resident said about Greyrock, ” this is a community for rugged individuals.”  And one final word of wisdom from a seasoned cohouser,  “You can’t have expectations for other people.”

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4 Responses to First Impressions of Greyrock Commons

  1. Cynthia says:

    It looks like you are hitting some beautiful Colorado weather to add to your researching pleasure. I hope you have a few extra minutes for some hikes. Is abundance of land a key to the success of these communities?

  2. Liah Holtzman says:

    How very exciting to see these communities.
    How are you doing traveling in the Guppy?
    It’s a mighty small space.

    Happy Trails – LIAH

  3. Connie Taylor says:

    Wow, you are on the road! Good for you–I really look forward to reading your blog. I ended up visiting a small comune near Siena, and did not go to Torri Superiore. The comune I visited is Bagnaia (I found something about it here: http://wiki.ic.org/wiki/Bagnaia_-_Core_Principles)
    I was interviewing one of the members/founders about agriculture and food systems, and ended up asking him all kinds of questions about the comune itself, and will be happy to share that with you when you return. Have a great time, do lots of research, do lots of writing, and be safe!!! hugs, Connie

  4. Carolina says:

    Claudia, my friend Liah told me about what you are doing. My partner Heidi and I are also interested in this too. In my 20’s I lived in Israel on a kibbutz for a year. It is such a great way to have a community surrounding you.
    Anyway, I look forward to reading about your journey.

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