What is the history of Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm?
The property was first developed by New Hampshire's Governor John Steele as his homestead and dairy farm in the mid-1800’s. Since then, it was actively farmed, became a resort, and then envisioned for an equestrian center, which ultimately did not happen. Four Peterborough residents, Robin Hulbert, Shelley Goguen Hulbert, Sage Wheeler and Richard Pendleton, acquired the property in August 2004 as Nubi River Partners, LLC to create cohousing. The original homestead, now renovated for office and studio space, is referred to as the Governor's House, and the hay field is still in active use as it was for decades.
Is the land on which the homes are built mine?
All the land - approximately 113 acres - is owned in common by the Homeowner's Association (HOA). This land is divided into common areas used and maintained for all, and limited common areas, surrounding the homes, which are for the sole use of the unit owner subject to HOA policies, allow for landscape elements and other customizations, and maintained by the unit owner.
Am I as an owner required to participate in community activities?
All residents contribute in ways that they can. While not tracked, the time spent on community activities can range from team work and regular meetings, to assisting periodically in the kitchen and Common House for community meals, and on seasonal work days such as fall clean up. All unit owners also should attend Plenary - our monthly meetings for discussion and decision making.
How can I volunteer in the community?
We have established teams to focus on specific areas of need or interest, and create teams as needed by the neighbors. Our current teams are Common House, Community Life, Farm, Forest & Trails, Landscaping, Maintenance, Heat & Hot Water and Steering. From time to time, an ad hoc team forms for a specific purpose and then disbands. Teams are a terrific opportunity to bring skills to bear, or learn about and contribute to something new for you.
Who makes the rules?
As a cohousing community resident, you have a very important role. First though we prefer to say we have policies rather than rules. Second, we all 'make the rules' by discussing a particular topic, deciding if we should have a policy, recommending a specific policy, and reaching agreement on it. This is done by following a consensus-driven decision making process. This emphasizes the greater good for the community at large rather than individual preferences. For almost everyone here, this was a new way of governance too. Another important aspect is informal discussion, which is strongly encouraged. This can happen during Open Forum, or whenever neighbors gather together.
Who are the architects?
Sheldon Pennoyer, architect and farmer, and his partner David O’Neil, and associate Dan Eldredge of O’Neil Pennoyer Architects, worked with us on all aspects of the site and building design in conjunction with landscape architect, Jim Herou, and his team at Strata Designs.
In addition Marc Rosenbaum, a leading energy-design consultant in the U.S., has consulted on all aspects of the green building and energy systems. Dave Jacke, a permaculture and site consultant, worked with us on design goals and ecological implementation.
Who built our homes?
Bruss Construction of Bradford, New Hampshire built our homes and Common House. For over 20 years, they have been leaders in sustainable building in New England, and have won numerous awards for their work.
What ongoing fees are associated with owning a home here?
Condominum fees: cover Heat and Hot Water, Casualty and Liability Insurance, Snow removal, Grounds-keeping of common areas, Building maintenance, and a Capital and operating reserve fund. You may nnfcoho [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Budget%20Request%20from%20NNF%20Website) (email )us for a copy of our current budget.
Property Taxes: in Peterborough are currently (2013) set at $29.80/$1,000 of assessed value of the home. The tax rate changes annually and is approved by vote by residents of the town at Town Meeting in May of each year. Keep in mind that we do not have income or sales taxes in New Hampshire.
Water and Sewer: Billed by the town as utilities. In 2012 the cost varied from about $30-$50/month depending on the size and usage.
Electricity: is provided by Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH). Each individual home pays for their electricity consumption. Many residents have photovoltaic solar panels that offset their electricity charge.