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Ralston Creek Cohousing, Vibrant Solar Community

by Sam Shellenberger, Member
Nestled alongside Ralston Creek in Arvada Colorado, a new mixed-use community is taking shape. The Geos Neighborhood is a net-zero community where solar and geothermal energy are harnessed to create a “new normal” for sustainable, walkable community living. In addition to the mountain views, community gardens, and open space, Geos is the future home of the Gatehouse and Ralston Creek Cohousing.

The Gatehouse will be a three story condominium style building with single-level individual units for 20-22 families. The Community Developer, Norbert Klebl is an engineer from Austria and member of the Green Building Guild with noteworthy experience in green building design. His innovative plan for a decarbonized neighborhood utilizes Colorado sunshine, near constant earth temperatures, tight building design, and modern mechanical systems to create buildings that are actually carbon neutral. That is a noteworthy achievement in itself, but for Norbert, that is just one aspect of the community he envisions. Ralston Creek Cohousing will be the centerpiece of the Geos neighborhood, bringing together the benefits of an environmentally sustainable design with promise of a vibrant and supportive cohousing Community.

Tori Baker and Bob Clemans caught a glimpse of Norbert’s vision for a sustainable cohousing community when they walked the property with him on a snowy February day a few years back. Together, they helped launch Ralston Creek Cohousing. Since that time, a committed and growing core group has nurtured the vision and continued planning while working to build enduring relationships. Over the last few years, Ralston Creek Cohousing LLC has grown to nine full members and several explorers, all committed to investing themselves in sustainable community. While social distancing measures resulting from the COVID crisis have presented challenges to community development, technologies like Zoom have allowed members to build relationship through virtual happy hours, community meals, and ice cream socials in addition to virtual business meetings. Now, as we move into the design phase we are excited to see our hopes and plans move toward fulfillment. It is an ideal time to join Ralston Creek Cohousing as we shape our Community vision and finalize our building design and construction timeline.

Arvada has a population of nearly 120,000 and is about seven miles west of Denver. Arvada’s diverse economic base, highly educated workforce, low crime rate and superb quality of life have made it one of the most desirable cities in Colorado. Nearby highways provide easy access to the mountains, the larger metropolitan region, and Denver International Airport. An extraordinary trail system links with Denver trails on the east and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west, punctuated with thousands of acres of parks and open spaces.