An intentional community located on a two-acre site, about four miles from downtown in the Creston Kenilworth neighborhood
Providing a sustainable, beautiful, and safe living environment for individual residents as well as the
From a run-down apartment building to a thriving green community, Kailash Ecovillage went through huge transformation
Our main building consists of 30 one-bedroom apartments and two 2-bedroom apartments.
An adjacent house serves as living space and office for the community managers. It has an additional unit with 4 rooms with shared kitchen, patio, and courtyard.
We have many shared areas, including a community room, shared laundry and mail room, recycling and composting areas, and a guest room. Our extensive gardens consist of individual garden plots as well as communally managed spaces.The latter include a perennial fruit orchard and food forest, vineyards, berry patches, and areas for annual crops.
Currently we have about fifty residents. To maintain affordability, Kailash Ecovillage uses a rental model, and we are able to keep rents substantially below market rate. This allows individuals with lower income and those without prior housing ownership to experience intentional community. An alternate model for intentional communities is cohousing, but a condominium model requires substantial individual capital, or a mortgage, as well as significant monthly homeowner fees.
Most of our residents would not be able to afford to live in a cohousing community.
Kailash Ecovillage is a community committed to providing a sustainable, beautiful, and safe living environment for individual residents as well as the greater community.
Sustainability: organic gardening, composting, local food production, frugal use of energy and resources, alternative sources of energy and water, reducing, reusing, recycling, human-powered transport•
Safety - ensuring community safety through a stringent screening process, neighbors looking out for each other, and other measures
Respect - for other beings and our earth
Diversity - our community includes different
ethnic and cultural backgrounds, incomes, ages,
family types, sexual orientations,
nd spiritual paths
Children and elders
Each others’ privacy
Vegan community gatherings and celebrations: maintaining a vegan community meal allows all residents to participate. We welcome individuals to share any other dietary restrictions.
Education: learning amongst ourselves and teaching the larger community about sustainability
Open-mindedness: welcoming new ideas
Experimentation: exploring new methods of sustainable urban living
The main building was constructed in 1959 as the Cabana Apartments. We have little information about the early years, but it appears it was a Hawaiian themed up-scale development. The space that is now the community room was called the Lanai Lounge and was apparently a party room. What is now the Unit 17 was the recreation room. Until several years ago the southwest area had a swimming pool open in the summer.
Unfortunately, the space fell on hard times due to poor management. It became known as the “meth” apartments. Residents witnessed shoot-outs in the parking lot and drug dealing in many of the units. Fully one quarter of the units became unlivable due to neglect. Transients were discovered living in the boarded up areas.
Amrita Field 6-8-2008
North Façade 6-11-2009
Ecovillage is Born
In 2007, Ole and Maitri Ersson, with the assistance of One Pacific Coast Bank, purchased the property and began its redevelopment as a model sustainable community. Twelve parking spaces were depaved to make way for new gardens. The lounge and recreation spaces, long boarded up, were remodeled as the community room and Unit 17. A new emphasis was placed on recycling, composting, and gardening, with a focus on food production.
Snow Storm Dec 2008
2010s Building Updates
In 2010, the adjacent property, slated for a housing development, was re-acquired as part of the project, quintupling the available garden space. Since that time new covered bike parking and garden tool storage have been developed, as well as large areas for a fruit orchard, berry and grape patches, composting areas, and community gardens consisting of 46 individual garden plots and areas that are communally gardened with annual crops.
View from the North, Summer 2017
South Roof Rainwater Conveyance Schematic
The main building has been retrofitted with a large solar project and all rooftop and remaining driveway water is now diverted to on-site rain gardens. Many individual units have undergone extensive renovations and updating. The adjacent house has been remodeled using state of the art energy conservation principles.
Evolution through the years