The Clearwater Commons is an intentional, ecologically-responsible residential community. In June 2006 a group of families (and future homeowners) formed the Clearwater Commons LLC and purchased the 7.4 acre site on North Creek, 11 miles north of Seattle’s city limits. The site includes wetlands, forest, garden space and salmon-supporting creek habitat. We have permits from Snohomish County for a site design of 16 residences plus a common house. The original farmhouse became our first unit, undergoing a significant green remodel. Construction began on 4 new units in 2011. Additional units will break ground in spring 2015.
The physical design of the community represents our underlying values of community and low-impact development. Pedestrian walkways, community gardens, benches, shared tool sheds and play spaces reflect our desire to interact with neighbors through the natural course of our days.
Clearwater Commons is intergenerational, ranging from small children to elders. Our mix of townhomes and single family homes accommodates diverse family constellations, as well as individuals at all life stages—newborn through senior.
The inspiration for this community grew from founding members’ involvement in The Clearwater School, a democratically run Sudbury school (K-12) located across the street. Our shared experience with the school encourages us to allow the structures for community meetings, gatherings, and events to evolve through our daily interactions, rather than follow a preset or mandated framework.
Guiding Principles and Values
The Clearwater Commons is committed to creating a community and supporting a low-impact housing development. Members share an intention of living a lifestyle that sustains a balance between individual and community needs and the natural ecosystem.
- We take on a responsibility to act as stewards of our land—restoring and enhancing the natural environment including the stream, wetlands, habitat and wildlife.
- We value relationships between individuals, families, and our environment, and promote a lifestyle that will promote and sustain these relationships. We support diversity in family constellations and individual lifestyles.
- We trust each family to make decisions that are aligned with our intent of sustainability and that balance individual autonomy and community needs. We expect the specific commitments of our community will change over time and we wish to avoid hard and fast rules.
- We value communication and discussion and will take the time needed to voice, discuss, and understand diverse perspectives in order to reach informed and conscious decisions.
- We hope that our work in the Commons will serve as an example that will influence the greater community and encourage more sustainable building practices and lifestyles.