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Jefferson County Neighborhoods:
Harmony Village

Illinois Street in Golden, east of U.S. Highway 6,
south of 19th Street
Adjacent to Golden High School and Fossil Trace Golf Course
www.harmonyvillage.org

The land now occupied by Harmony Village -- 27 southwest-style houses and households -- was once the home of Triceratops. These days, deer, owls, elk, coyotes and even a mountain lion or two still share the land with about 60 residents of all ages who began moving into the neighborhood in 1996. This “neighborhood on purpose” is unique because it was designed and built by the people who live there, according to a development pattern called cohousing. Imported from Denmark in the late 1980s, cohousing has spread quickly in the U.S., with 170 neighborhoods now already built or in the design phase. (see www.cohousing.org).

Harmony Village

There’s a feeling of an outdoor room at Harmony Village, where homes are clustered around a common green that’s shaded by cottonwood trees. Kids love to play soccer and frisbee on the common lawn, because everyone has access to it, individual yards were designed to be very small. Parking is remote from the houses to provide greater safety, serenity, and sense of place. Neighbors meet and greet each other as they go to their cars, pick up mail, or come together for a community meal in the neighborhood’s centerpiece, the common house. This building includes guest rooms, a recreation room, lounge, and rooftop deck with a hot tub.

Harmony residents also share a large community garden and orchard, a workshop and a playground. The neighborhood is physically connected by a beautiful brick walkway the neighbors laid themselves, which stretches from the archway on Illinois Street to the entry to open space near Golden High School.

community meal

Traditions: Community meals, parties “roasting and toasting” neighbors, holiday celebrations like winter solstice labyrinth walks, garage sales, political debates in the common house, theater parties, movie and book discussion groups. Real Estate Values: $290,000 to $550,000 with very little turnover (four homes in nine years). Interested buyers and apartment renters can get on a waiting list.

Jeffco Public Schools: Mitchell Elementary, Kyffin Elementary, Shelton Elementary, Bell Middle School, Golden High School. Amenities Within 5 miles: Golden city parks and community center, bike paths, hiking trails, golf course. Historic downtown Golden is less than a mile away with shops, restaurants, and museums.

Organized: Monthly meetings (business, workday, or social) keep neighbors active and engaged, along with a well-used email listserv, several bulletin boards, and many casual walkway conversations. Harmony has published a neighborhood newsletter quarterly since 1997, and is politically active in local community affairs. For example, neighbors spearheaded the preservation of a three quarter-acre park adjacent to Fossil Trace Golf Course, and helped landscape the park with native species.

Plus: This neighborhood provides a sense of community and cooperation.

Minus: The Harmony Village lifestyle requires a time commitment that many people might not be willing to make.

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