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We are available to answer all your questions through email, phone, or in person, but here are answers to some questions we have been asked.

How far along is the project?

We have 8 community adults and 8 children in the group, which make up 6 households.

We purchased the property in November of 2023. It has no zoning and is in an area with very little permitting required. Everyone will still need to follow provincial building requirements if building their own home. We are still learning how to maintain the land through the winter and spring months.

Currently, we have 3 families living on the land right now cohousing in the large house that will eventually be turned into a clubhouse for the whole community, once these families put homes on their lots.

We’ve had many board meetings to write and agree on guidelines, policies, processes, and plans for the community. These are all created as a base to help start the community and they may be edited or changed yearly as we grow.

This week we are finishing the legal structure of the community and the lawyer is writing the leases and sublease so we are ready to bring on new community members to help us grow and build the communal areas.

This year we will be selling 2-3 lots, and renting 2-3 lots.

What are the future plans?

Our next steps in 2024 are:

  •  To flag out the lots for members to lease
  •  Build the road around the community
  •  Geotech is scheduled to come out to the land to plan the new septic for lots
  •  Run the water and septic lines to lots
  •  Build a chicken coop
  • Create the playground area
  •  Build the garden, fruit tree area, and food forest
  • Create the communal firepit
  •  Make walking paths and hiking trails
  • Do wildfire prevention clean up under and around the treed areas
  •  Create a tow rope for the big sledding hill

In 2025:

  • Creation of the Clubhouse: Design all the fun rooms for community use, such as library, craft room, games room, workout room, theatre/hangout room, group meals and event dining room, commercial kitchen, and playroom
  • Hopefully put in an above-ground pool, hot tub, and deck
  • Build a community workshop – for woodworking, metal work, and building things. Including storage for communal tools and equipment
  • Continue growing the garden and areas of food security
  • Apply for grants to help with food security and the housing crisis

How much land do I get if I want to join the Community?

If you decide you would like to purchase a lot to become a member of the community, then technically you have access and decision-making opportunities over the whole 30-acre community area!

Each member will own a private lot of land roughly 1/8th of an acre in size. For reference that’s about 50ft x 100ft (5000 sqft).

Each member will be free to build on and utilize their lot as they see fit, so long as their use aligns with community guidelines, policies, aesthetics, and the general vision of the community.

Communal spaces can be utilized by every member:
The gardens, greenhouse, fruit trees, and food forest
The chicken coop
The dog/pet run
The Clubhouse
The walking paths and hiking trails
The playground
The chopped wood
And more

If you decide to rent then the lot size is 2500 sqft (50 x 50ft). You also have access to the whole 30 acres and the communal area listed above. 

Are you working with realtors and lawyers?

Yes, we are working with an amazing realtor business called CoHo BC. They help groups co-purchase housing/land, and help communities form in BC.

We are also working with a great law firm, Richard Ledding Law Corporation, in Vancouver. They helped us purchase the property as a group and are doing all the legal work to create the cohousing community corporation and write the lease contracts for new community members.

Will members be responsible for building/financing their own homes?

Currently, we don’t have housing on the lots. Lot owners will have to put their own housing on the lots.

Tiny homes are encouraged, and while travel trailers and RVs would not be our first choice for long-term housing, we’re happy to support early members living in mobile dwelling units while they’re in the process of building out or funding the buildout of long-term housing. As long as these are winterized if they plan to live in them over the cold months.

For the short-term yearly rental lots, only temporary, mobile, or collapsible housing is allowed. If you plan to rent in the community year-round then the dwelling needs to be winterized.

Lot owners or renters are welcome to move onto the property as soon as the necessary infrastructure is present to support them in doing so.

What is the average temperatures on the community property?

We have only lived on the property through 2 seasons, Fall and Winter.

Fall was very pretty and full of yellow and orange coloured leaves everywhere and very mild temps around 15 degrees celsius.

Winter average for 2023 was -10 degrees but it did drop to -33 for a miserable week! But went back to -15 ish for a while and warmed up and stayed around -5 to -10 for the rest of the winter.

From research on the area the average spring temp is 10-15 degrees.

Summer months will be between 28-32 degrees celsius. Sometimes the summer months in the Okanagan can reach super hot temps of 38-42 degrees, but they only last a couple of days.

Our community property is at 900-1000 elevation, so I think the nights will cool off a lot.

Can I run a business on the community property?

We believe every community member has the right to own, start, or have their own business for their own financial gain. But we also agree some guidelines should be in place for everyone to enjoy living in the community.

Home-based businesses do not need the approval of the community if they don’t have clients or customers coming to their home and if they don’t require extra space on their lot or in the community to run their business, or if it is strictly online and any other business is completed off the property.

A business that has a lot of customers or clients coming to their home, or need extra space to run on their lot, or want to lease extra space somewhere in the community to run their business will need approval at a meeting.

Can I help out at the community and not live there?

Absolutely! The more the merrier at our events, work parties, and group meals.

We plan to make a non-residential membership for anyone who wants to come volunteer often and be a part of growing and developing the community, but not live on the property.

Volunteers may need to get criminal record checks done since they will be working around vulnerable children and seniors in the community.

Sign up for our newsletter and contact us and let us know you are interested in this.

What is the governance in the community?

Wandering Coyote Community is still developing the guidelines, policies, and processes that guide how we live together as a community, and we expect this process to be an ongoing evolution for as long as the community stands.

Our community uses consensus decision-making, which is a cooperative process in which the community works together to understand an plan and develop a suitable proposal, and agrees to support a decision that is in the best interest of the whole group (as opposed to a decision that is in the best interest of certain individuals). In cohousing jargon, it usually works out as “most people get most of what they want, most of the time”.

The community is also run by a board of directors and all community members who live on the land. Members are voted on to the board of directors by all community members yearly. All community members can come to monthly meetings and have a say in what happens in the community. The board of directors are there to help facilitate the decision-making process of consensus and keep meetings moving along through the process to a conclusion. If needed, the voting alternative method will be used if consensus isn’t reached after 3 meetings. The Directors know the community guidelines inside and out and are responsible for the business aspects of the community. The directors also keep track of all the community financing, meeting agendas, the meeting minutes, and report all changes in the community corporation to the province and corporation records office. They make sure we are abiding by the corporation’s bylaws and the province of BC business regulations.

We would also like to combine consensus with sociocracy, which is creating teams to help run the different aspects and areas in the community. Teams would form for different tasks that need completing, such as the garden and landscaping team, the building and maintenance team, the animals teams, and the clubhouse and social events team. All these different teams will be formed as we bring in new members and have more people to create team groups. Each team holds certain decision-making rights for the areas they maintain, to make changes and planning more streamlined and easier for the community. All major changes and financing needs would be brought to a meeting so the team can submit a proposal for their plan, and the whole community can help make a decision. We hope to implement Teams in the near future as the community grows. Decisions are made as a whole community and then implemented together.

You can read more about the governance and decision-making process in the guidelines, policies, and processes document on our join us website page.

Are there things to do around the community?

There will be plenty of work and fun on the property to do. We plan to create a playground the kids and adults will like, as well as the sledding hill for the winter. We will also have the fire pit for warm evenings and hopefully, musicians playing around the fire once in a while. We will have planned group meals, movie nights and holiday celebrations.

If you’d like to adventure off the community property we border on 350 acres of crown land. There are plenty of hiking trails and roads to adventure on. You can check out the 2 small lakes on the crown land, and we’ve been told one of them has freshwater shrimp. Twin Lakes is only 5 minutes away and great for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Skaha Lake is about 20 minutes away and great for swimming and motorboats. Twin Lakes Golf Course is about 5 minutes away if you fancy a game.

Penticton is only 30 minutes away and has a lot of fun things to do, such as Rolling Stones Bowling Alley, LocoLanding, the Wibit on Okanagan Lake, restaurants, the movie theatre, and floating down the channel. There are plenty of parks within 15-30 minutes of the community property in Penticton, Kaleden, Keremeos, and Ok Falls.

How off-grid is the Community?

We aren’t hooked up to any grid power source. We run off solar, propane, and a generator. We also use a lot of wood heat in the winter.

Each lot will have septic, water, and hopefully Telus running to it. Each person that buys or rents and lot will have to provide their own power source.

Currently, there is Starlink Satellite internet at the main clubhouse that works great for meetings, zoom, social media, wifi calls, Netflix, and streaming. Unfortunately, I’ve been told it’s not so great for high-speed video games like Fortnite.

Our group has talked to Telus and they said we can get fiber optic internet to the community once we dig the trench for the cables. So that is on our to-do list as we develop. We are hoping to have that done by summer.

There are a few spots on the property with cell service but not a lot. We can do wifi calling in the main clubhouse with Starlink Internet, and we are thinking of getting a cell booster. When we get Telus they can put in a landline and fiber optic high-speed internet to any lot that wants one.

We have talked with Fortis BC and it would cost at least $300,000 to get grid power services out to the property. We may decide to talk with other neighbours and see if they would like to split that cost if we want to go on the grid in the future. For now, we are building off-grid.

What about pets?

At Wandering Coyote Community we embrace all living beings and understand the profound bond that can form between human and pet. However, we do have a pet policy devised as a framework for the welcoming of pets into the community. We agree that we do not want a policy containing many conditions or rules. We hope to address the expressed needs of the members, pet owners, and non-pet owners alike, present a few necessary conditions for the acceptance of pets, and deal with other issues as they arise. 

Every person who moves into the community with a pet will become a member of the pet club. Pictures of the pets and their names will be posted in the common house on the pet cork board so all members of the community will know who has pets, where they live, and be able to call the animal by name. 

We allow pets but feel a need to limit the amount per family/lot so that it doesn’t become a problem later on as we grow. 

Pet Policies are as follows:

  • All pets will need to be approved before moving onto your lot and into the community. 
  • All pets/animals need to be taken care of and healthy. Vaccinations should be up to date for the safety of other dogs and people in the community.
  • The current limit is 2 cats and 2 dogs per household. (We recommend indoor cats because of the threats from wildlife and dogs on the land, but understand that outside cats need to be outside)
  • Caged animals are allowed within a reasonable amount (as long as they stay in your own home and don’t leave or disturb the other members)
  • All pets need to be legally owned in Canada (no illegally imported or wildlife pets).
  • On your private lot, you can put up a pet fence within a specific height, based on lot policies. 
  • Pets can’t be left outside all day if they bark constantly.
  • Catios can be built on your private lot, within a reasonable size.
  • Dogs must be on a leash in all communal areas unless in the designated dog park area.
  • Pet owners shall be responsible for cleaning up after their animals on their own lot and in communal areas.
  • Must follow all Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen pet regulations for owning a pet in the area. Dog and cat licenses may need to be purchased.

It is suggested that a pet run or dog park be included in the development. The run, however, must be kept clean by the pet owners.

It is expected that, should problems arise, the individuals involved will attempt to deal with the situation first. If unsuccessful, the community board and members will try to resolve the issue together.

The community is not responsible for the safety or behavior of your pets. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to deal with their own pets if they misbehave or wreck something. If you let your cat outside, remember that there are preditors that are dangerous to small animals. We are not responsible if something happens to your pet.

**If you already have more than the allowed pets, let us know and we may be able to make an exception.

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