agreements access icon All Public Agreements

The Great Oak Cohousing Association Book of Agreements is our collection of what others may describe as their "condominium documents". They are an extension of our Master Deed and Bylaws. As described in our Bylaws, we use a consensus decision making process, while using our vision statement for guidance. Our state incorporation papers and subsequent updates are also available on the State of Michigan's website.

Below is a select list of documents we have chosen to share with the public. We hope this may help other communities, or educate prospective members. Also, this web application software is available for download under an open source license.

Committee Date sort by Agreement ID Summary
Process 2019-03-18 Committee Effectiveness Proposal with Convenor and Member Responsibilities A revised Committee Effectiveness agreement to strengthen the Great Oak committee system by giving specific direction to committees on how to effectively function and fulfill their mandates. This is intended to institute best practices for committees to follow in three major areas, namely Committee Mandates, Roles and Responsibilities, and Questions, Concerns, and Controversial Decisions.
Buildings 2018-01-19 Buildings Committee Mandate The Buildings Committee is a standing committee responsible for maintaining and improving the physical infrastructure of Great Oak community. Their mandate includes ensuring the short and long-term maintenance, regulatory compliance, and safety of the buildings and related infrastructure, coordinating renovations and repairs, and working with other committees as needed.
Common House 2017-02-20 Common House Committee Mandate The Common House Committee is responsible for maintaining the indoor space of Great Oak's community life, overseeing policies, budgeting, programming, and creating a welcoming shared space. The committee will work collaboratively to make decisions, and they will follow Great Oak's standard three-bid process for financial commitments exceeding $500.
Steering 2014-11-17 Steering Committee Mandate The Steering Committee is responsible for making critical decisions for the Great Oak community in time-urgent situations when a community meeting cannot be scheduled in time. The committee is made up of one representative from each standing committee and will operate by consensus, with four members as a quorum necessary to make a decision.
Meals 2012-11-19 Meals Committee Mandate The Meals Committee at Great Oak is responsible for administering the Meals program in a healthy, sustainable, and affordable way for the community. The committee has various responsibilities, including determining meal schedules, overseeing purchasing, administering billing, maintaining equipment, setting policies, and listening to community input, and has both a financial budget and a work "budget."
Grounds 2012-06-06 Grounds Committee Mandate The Grounds Committee is responsible for maintaining and planning the outdoor portion of the Great Oak physical plant, including landscape, hardscape, waste removal, amenities, and snow and ice removal. The Committee follows the Great Oak's standard three-bid process for financial commitments exceeding $500 and may occasionally forgo this process in certain cases.
Membership 2012-01-16 Revised Membership Committee Mandate the Membership Committee includes facilitating outreach, education, social events, and welcoming new members. The Caring Committee provides assistance and support for those in difficult situations, while the Fun Committee organizes community-wide events, but the Membership Committee does not have the responsibility of ensuring member happiness or resolving conflicts.
Process 2010-06-21 Process Committee Revised Mandate Process committee actively supports the community's commitment to consensus decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution. Also ensures storage and availability of minutes, agreements, and community historical information. Also supports learning and community-building at Great Oak.
Workshop 2009-08-17 Workshop Committee Mandate Approved 8.17.09 The Workshop Committee is a Standing Committee that manages a workshop facility for community projects and individual users, with the mandate to construct and operate the shop in a safe and fair manner. The committee is responsible for creating and maintaining general operating rules, managing operating funds, and coordinating with other committees to facilitate community projects, among other duties.
Work 2008-10-20 Community Work Agreement The basic assumptions and parameters of Great Oak's Community Work System, which includes a shared responsibility for community work among owner members, associate members, and teen members, and provides options for handling conflicts that may arise. The system is expected to evolve over time, and renters may choose to wait until their lease is renegotiated before assuming their responsibilities as associate members.
Process 2008-05-19 Meeting Guidelines Agreement, with new Input in Absentia section. Updated meeting guidelines which include separate facilitator and participant guidelines, as well as a four-step method for working through emotional charge. Additionally, the proposal outlines an Input in Absentia agreement for community members who are unable to attend a meeting.
Finance & Legal 2006-01-16 GO Finance and Legal Committee Mandate The Finance and Legal Committee is a standing committee that addresses the financial and legal concerns of the community. The committee is empowered to implement decisions made by the community, and their responsibilities include budgeting and financial planning, managing investments, preparing taxes and reports, and working with legal experts to provide information to the community.
Work 2005-10-05 Work Committee Mandate The work committee is responsible for designing and operating a program to accomplish the community's work and assisting in defining work expectations and needs. Their duties include the work allocation process, assisting in the smooth functioning of the work system, and workday coordination, but they are not responsible for doing individual jobs or supervising them.
Grounds 2004-06-02 Planting Trees and Shrubs within Limited Common Elements (LCEs) Households are free to plant trees and shrubs within their LCEs, which have an expected maximum growth height of 20 feet high or less without approval from the grounds committee, provided they follow specific guidelines. The proposal aims to address issues related to tree planting, which can cause conflicts among neighbors and damage to in-ground infrastructure.
Great Oak Community 2003-08-06 Cat Clause The Cat Clause proposal aims to balance the desires of some Great Oak members to have outdoor cats with environmental, health, and safety concerns. While the committee encourages all cat owners to keep their cats indoors, it recognizes that some may choose to allow their cats outside and proposes guidelines for proper licensing, containment, and behavior. Hunting and other outdoor cat behaviors that could result in the loss of outdoor privileges are listed, and conflict resolution methods are suggested.
Grounds 2003-06-30 GO Fence Policy The GO fence policy allows backyard fences up to 6 feet high and front yard decorative fences up to 1.5 feet high. The policy aims to balance the community's desire for privacy and pet containment with the preservation of Great Oak's aesthetics and open space.
Great Oak Community 2003-03-03 Pet Policy (minus the Cat section) The policy aims to create a harmonious environment for people, pets, and nature. It addresses various types of pets including dogs and other outdoor pets, as well as concerns around safety, cleanliness, damage, and noise. Pet owners are responsible for their pets' actions and damages. The "Cat Clause" covers cats and is a separate policy.
Process 2003-01-08 Conflict Resolution in Our Community The proposal suggests forming a Conflict Resolution Committee (CRC) in the community to help with conflict resolution between individuals or households. The CRC will be a community resource and maintain confidentiality while providing guidance and mediation services, although certain types of conflict may require outside resources.
Great Oak Community 2001-05-01 Great Oak's Vision Work, end of March to end of May 2001 Our vision is to create a sustainable community that is diverse and joyful. We seek to thrive in harmony and dissonance with one another. In this place we value and cultivate our strengths and our differences.

As of: Sat, 01 Apr 2023 13:26:34 +0000