Common House General Use Guidelines

Common House 2003-11-16


Various policies around usage of the Common House. Including who can use it, quiet hours, food usage, securing at night, no smoking, no storing of alcohol, scheduling, guest room guidelines, charges/donations and use by non-residents.


The Common House is the center of community life. In one sense it is an extension of our own homes, with shared space for exercise, play, and relaxation. It is also communal space where we eat together, socialize, and celebrate. We want the Common House to be a welcoming, comfortable, usable space with guidelines that encourage its use.

We want to thank Sunward for their generosity and forbearance in lending Great Oak the use of its Common House while we were planning and constructing our community. Likewise, we want to be as generous and supportive of our new neighbors at Touchstone. Therefore, this policy addresses use of the Great Oak Common House by members of those communities.

We acknowledge that, despite these guidelines (or in fact because these guidelines are intended not to be restrictive), conflicts over the use of the Common House between Great Oak members or with non-Great Oak members may occur. The Great Oak Common House Committee will mediate scheduling conflicts, though we highly recommend that individuals discuss this first between themselves to try to find an amenable solution. Great Oak members should feel free to bring any issues or concerns about the use of the Common House to the Great Oak Common House Committee. We believe that your concerns are important. It's your Common House.



Members of Great Oak Co-Housing, Sunward Co-Housing and Touchstone Co-Housing are welcome to schedule the Great Oak Common House for use according to the following Guidelines.


Quiet hours will be observed from 9:00pm to 9:00am weekdays and from 11:00pm to 9:00am on weekends. Quiet is defined as a level of noise which is not loud enough to disturb any potential guests and which stays within the Common House (that is, folks in their units cannot hear noise coming from the Common House).

Please clean up after yourself. Food is allowed outside the dining room as long as food/drinks are not left in other rooms in order to avoid insect/rodent problems.

The Common House must be secured overnight. The Common House will be locked and lights turned off between 10:00pm and midnight by the person to whom the work is assigned by the Work Committee. Anyone using the Common House after it is locked is responsible for closing, locking, and turning off lights. The Common House can be opened by anyone with a key in the morning.

Smoking is not permitted inside the Common House or on the porch or patio directly adjacent to the Common House.

No alcohol will be stored in the Common House. Host assumes all liability for any consequences of alcohol use during a sponsored event. Alcohol will not be permitted for events that are not hosted by a SunGOaTS member.


Scheduling of rooms is on a first come/first served basis. Rooms are available for any legal group activity (that is, no illegal activities are permitted). Host is responsible for reserving the room. Host is defined as a resident of SUNGOaTS (Sunward, Great Oak, or Touchstone).

Host is responsible for clean-up and returning the room to its original condition.

Rooms are not available for private events during times when community events are scheduled, such as business meetings, community celebrations, etc.

If your event is closed (i.e. GO members are excluded from participating), please give at least two weeks notice via email and by posting a sign on the community bulletin board.

If your event is catered, you may use the kitchen facilities as long as the event does not conflict with community meals and the kitchen is returned to its original condition.

Kids' Room is not available for exclusive use. In other words, you may use it for your event, but GO children are always welcome to use the room.

Private Offices are not available for use by others.

Broken items will be replaced by the person responsible, the group sponsoring the event, or the GO host.

Disputes/problems will be referred to the Common House Committee for resolution. The Common House Committee will be responsible for reviewing CH guidelines periodically.


We want to support the formation of other community groups (e.g. co-ops, new co-housing, etc.). This is in line with our mission to participate in the wider community. All
People outside the three co-housing communities who wish to use the Common House must contact the Great Oak Common House Committee in order to schedule the use of our facilities. These groups will agree to abide by all Great Oak Common House guidelines. No alcohol is permitted for these events.


The guest room can be reserved on a first-come/first served basis by a member of SunGOaTS for their guest(s). Every guest must have a host. Guests may stay no longer than 7 days at a time. There is a suggested $5/night charge. Proceeds go to the CH fund. Host is responsible for signing out the room and cleaning the room after use, including washing sheets, sweeping, etc.


There is no charge for the use of Common House space. Please consider giving a donation ($5 per event is suggested) to the Common House fund, or an in-kind contribution, in return for the use of our facility.

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