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© 2015  Zephyr Valley Community Cooperative
Zephyr Valley Community Cooperative

Prospective Member (PM) 

PMs are people who are willing to put a good deal of time and energy over a period of at least 6 months exploring the possibility of joining Zephyr. During this time, we would like you to: 1. Demonstrate you have the qualities & skills needed to live at Zephyr (see next section) 2. Attend 75% or more of our twice-a-month meetings, at first just listening to develop an understanding of the consensus process and the issues we deal with, and later participating in our discussions. You will become a full participant in the meeting, contributing ideas that will shape the eventual decisions, except that only Members are included when it is time to do the final consensus check. 3. Meet with all Members individually to get a more in depth understanding of community life. You are encouraged to ask questions about each Member’s experiences in joining Zephyr and reasons; and about every aspect of our community: Zephyr’s finances, history, vision, etc. You will find that Members will want to know your thoughts about cooperative living. Members will undertake to make time available to meet with you. 4. Familiarize yourself with Zephyr’s Bylaws and with major policies, especially those concerning land use, animals & financial responsibilities. 5. Contribute financially. Currently PMs contribute $10/month. If they are living at Zephyr, this is include in the monthly residence fee, which is currently $55/month and is fixed annually in our budget process. 6. To guide you through all this, a member will be appointed to act as your Sponsor. 7. We don’t require you to live at Zephyr, but our experience is that it works best if you can move on to the farm or at least nearby e.g. Winona. To live further away would make it hard to spend the time here you will need. 8. During the 6 months you are exploring membership at Zephyr, you will be asked to do two ’check-ins’ at the bi-monthly meetings, so we can find out where you feel you are and to allow you to ask questions of the entire community. 9. At the end of the 6 months you can either ask to join Zephyr or request a time extension of up to 12 additional months. 10. When you ask for membership, a decision will be taken by the entire group in consensus. This can seem scary, but, so far, no one who has asked for membership in our community has ever been turned down. Some people have decided that Zephyr would not work for them and have decided on their own to withdraw — which is how it’s supposed to work. 11. If Zephyr feels that there are still unresolved questions concerning your joining, it may require an extension of up to 12 months. 12. When you ask to join, you are expected to have a plan for paying or financing the initial membership fee (currently $10,000 per adult Member). We do not check up on personal finances. 13. To allow you even more time to reconsider, you can get a full immediate refund for up to a year after joining or until you have bought a house at Zephyr or begun construction of a new home. After that, the fee is refundable only to Members leaving Zephyr, and the ByLaws only require this to be repaid at $100/month with interest on the balance and then only after a replacement member has joined. 14. So you could conceivably take 2½ years (1½ years as PM + 1 year as a Member) to get to know Zephyr & make a final decision, as well as an unlimited time as a FOZ. Or, of course, it may take only 6 months.

Qualities Needed to Live at Zephyr

Zephyr welcomes all persons, irrespective of religion, race, age, marital/family status, sexual orientation, physical & mental abilities, political affiliation & national origin. However it is important to understand that living in a cooperative housing community requires a specific set of qualities and skills. Before joining this community, you should carefully review the list below to decide whether Zephyr might work for you. These qualities & skills can be developed while you are progressing towards membership: 1. Understand and value the consensus decision making process. Demonstrate the ability to function in the process. Show willingness to raise concerns & engage in the process of attaining resolution, avoiding win/lose stances. Be open to modifying your point of view and be willing to abide by the results. Have basic communication skills, especially in listening, and learn meeting skills and procedures. Read available literature e.g. "Creating A Life", Facilitators handbook. 2. Demonstrate respect for the community, for others and for the land. Become familiar with major policies e.g. residential & wild spaces; pets, hunting, financial responsibility, and the list of major decisions. 3. Participate in community life and demonstrate acceptance of mutual responsibility for upkeep of community land & buildings (especially work days). Attend meetings regularly. 4. Take responsibility for seeing that your own social & emotional needs are met. This might include connections at Zephyr, but the expectation is that you will seek out relationships & connections in the wider community.
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Overview Housing Photos Amenities
Zephyr Valley Community Cooperative

Prospective Member (PM) 

PMs are people who are willing to put a good deal of time and energy over a period of at least 6 months exploring the possibility of joining Zephyr. During this time, we would like you to: 1. Demonstrate you have the qualities & skills needed to live at Zephyr (see next section) 2. Attend 75% or more of our twice-a-month meetings, at first just listening to develop an understanding of the consensus process and the issues we deal with, and later participating in our discussions. You will become a full participant in the meeting, contributing ideas that will shape the eventual decisions, except that only Members are included when it is time to do the final consensus check. 3. Meet with all Members individually to get a more in depth understanding of community life. You are encouraged to ask questions about each Member’s experiences in joining Zephyr and reasons; and about every aspect of our community: Zephyr’s finances, history, vision, etc. You will find that Members will want to know your thoughts about cooperative living. Members will undertake to make time available to meet with you. 4. Familiarize yourself with Zephyr’s Bylaws and with major policies, especially those concerning land use, animals & financial responsibilities. 5. Contribute financially. Currently PMs contribute $10/month. If they are living at Zephyr, this is include in the monthly residence fee, which is currently $55/month and is fixed annually in our budget process. 6. To guide you through all this, a member will be appointed to act as your Sponsor. 7. We don’t require you to live at Zephyr, but our experience is that it works best if you can move on to the farm or at least nearby e.g. Winona. To live further away would make it hard to spend the time here you will need. 8. During the 6 months you are exploring membership at Zephyr, you will be asked to do two check-ins’ at the bi-monthly meetings, so we can find out where you feel you are and to allow you to ask questions of the entire community. 9. At the end of the 6 months you can either ask to join Zephyr or request a time extension of up to 12 additional months. 10. When you ask for membership, a decision will be taken by the entire group in consensus. This can seem scary, but, so far, no one who has asked for membership in our community has ever been turned down. Some people have decided that Zephyr would not work for them and have decided on their own to withdraw — which is how it’s supposed to work. 11. If Zephyr feels that there are still unresolved questions concerning your joining, it may require an extension of up to 12 months. 12. When you ask to join, you are expected to have a plan for paying or financing the initial membership fee (currently $10,000 per adult Member). We do not check up on personal finances. 13. To allow you even more time to reconsider, you can get a full immediate refund for up to a year after joining or until you have bought a house at Zephyr or begun construction of a new home. After that, the fee is refundable only to Members leaving Zephyr, and the ByLaws only require this to be repaid at $100/month with interest on the balance and then only after a replacement member has joined. 14. So you could conceivably take 2½ years (1½ years as PM + 1 year as a Member) to get to know Zephyr & make a final decision, as well as an unlimited time as a FOZ. Or, of course, it may take only 6 months.

Qualities Needed to Live at

Zephyr

Zephyr welcomes all persons, irrespective of religion, race, age, marital/family status, sexual orientation, physical & mental abilities, political affiliation & national origin. However it is important to understand that living in a cooperative housing community requires a specific set of qualities and skills. Before joining this community, you should carefully review the list below to decide whether Zephyr might work for you. These qualities & skills can be developed while you are progressing towards membership: 1. Understand and value the consensus decision making process. Demonstrate the ability to function in the process. Show willingness to raise concerns & engage in the process of attaining resolution, avoiding win/lose stances. Be open to modifying your point of view and be willing to abide by the results. Have basic communication skills, especially in listening, and learn meeting skills and procedures. Read available literature e.g. "Creating A Life", Facilitators handbook. 2. Demonstrate respect for the community, for others and for the land. Become familiar with major policies e.g. residential & wild spaces; pets, hunting, financial responsibility, and the list of major decisions. 3. Participate in community life and demonstrate acceptance of mutual responsibility for upkeep of community land & buildings (especially work days). Attend meetings regularly. 4. Take responsibility for seeing that your own social & emotional needs are met. This might include connections at Zephyr, but the expectation is that you will seek out relationships & connections in the wider community.
© 2015  Zephyr Valley Community Cooperative