Becoming an Associate Member?

Hello @reef-exploring,

It’s been about a month that we got to know each other and I think I speak on behalf of all the “oldlings” that it has been an absolute pleasure.

Following our membership process (internal link) the time to move on to the next stage, i.e. associate membership, is approaching soon.

If you would like to become an associate member, can you please have a look at the steps specified in section 2.2 of Annex 1 of the document linked above before 18 December?

Pro tip for easy use of Nextcloud: click on the icon with all the horizontal lines on the left (the one above the microphone, highlighted in grey below) to get access to the navigation pane:


One last thing, for the sake of clarity and managing expectations on the question that was asked at the last plenary on whether we could reopen the decisions that we don’t allow pets in the garden …

I discussed the issue with a couple of oldlings and it seems that many people don’t feel comfortable with this. The main reason for this is that the basic recipe for building a cohousing is that a small group of founding members writes a vision - in the case of The Reef this is the Blueprint 1.0 - in which they define a couple of values, agreements and practical criteria to which newcomers can then subscribe or not. The general recommendation is to make this vision a non-negotiable thing, because otherwise the formation of a group will take forever.

In practical terms of course nobody can make any promises, but I don’t exclude that we’ll be able to find an agreement on the occasional cat (if it wears a bells so that it doesn’t kill birds), but for dogs I have very little hope. No Reefling should ever feel uncomfortable to say no to something that was agreed from the beginning, which in practice I’m afraid will mean that we won’t allow dogs in the garden.

The reasons behind the no pets in the garden rule were all touched upon during the plenary meeting: inclusion, noise and hygiene. For reference: in the two cohousings that inspired the Blueprint it is completely forbidden (as per the règlement d’ordre intérieur) to have a dog, also in people’s private units. “No dogs!” was the firm recommendation that we got in both places, which we translated in the Blueprint 1.0 into a more liberal version that says “no pets in the common spaces”.

That being said we look forward to building The Reef together, and to taking important decisions together. For the common spaces for example, we made the conscious choice to not take any decisions before the current Exploring Members will become Associate Members and thus can participate in the decision making.

Final note: for those who would like to have another look at the Blueprint 1.0 (the slide deck is probably the best summary), here’s the link to our “key documents”:


Thanks for the information about the membership process and the update on the decision not to allow pets in the garden.

I fully respect the non-negotiable nature of the decisions taken by the founding members of The Reef, as reflected in the Blueprint, and that in this regard pets, particularly dogs, are not allowed in the common spaces/garden.

Personally, I fully subscribe to the values of living in a clean and calm environment but I am also a cat-owner who values a pet-friendly environment at the same time. And as a new Reefling, I am still navigating this process and trying to find more clarity and answers to some questions about The Reef.

In this context, I would like to better understand how The Reef positions itself with regard to pets in general and was wondering when there could be an opportunity to discuss and learn about this.


I’m happy to further clarify the issue, but I’m not sure what else to say about it.

The Reef’s position towards pets in general is covered by a couple of it’s main values and agreements, including:

  • sustainability
  • private choices are private
  • no pets in the common spaces

We started The Reef because we wanted to build a home and a community based on the core values of sustainability, diversity and hospitality. The environmental impact of bigger pets like cats and dogs is quite significant, but we don’t wish to enter that debate. Private choices are private. We do however want to make sure that everybody can use the common spaces without too many worries (including the birds).

So if a couple of households want to keep a cat and let it out in the garden, I guess that won’t pose a problem, as long as we find a way for the cats to co-exist with the birds and they don’t cause any odour problems. But if tomorrow there would be a household that owns 10 cats and they want to let all these cats stroll in the garden, I’m afraid we will put the interest of the community first and ask to keep these cats indoors.

Does that answer your question? If not I would propose to pick it up face-to-face, so that I can better understand the underlying need behind your question.


I get and respect everything said on the topic of pets until now, but I was wondering about how/if this topic has been looked at by @reef-inclusion as well. Do we for instance have clear standpoints on things such as whether visually impaired people would be allowed to be in the garden and common spaces with their guide dog? Having these and making them explicit, also in our presentation, seems pretty crucial to me as to not loose the chance of people with specific needs joining The Reef at the very first step.

Hi Lie, many thanks for your response. Yes, let’s pick it up face-to-face, I think that will be easier to communicate and explain the needs behind this.

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Thanks @Nic for pointing that out, happy to pick that up when the time is there. I don’t worry too much though, because a quick internet search teaches me that legally service dogs are not considered as pets, and so my guess would be people who use service dogs are well aware that they will get an exception.

For the moment however my feeling is that there is a desire in the group to let this issue rest a little, and also to focus our energy on making progress towards getting ready to purchase a site, rather than getting lost in too many “what if?” questions (no offense though).

Hi all! Upon Lee’s suggestion we wanted to share here that @leonard and I will take another month or so to take part in plenary meetings and get to know everything a little better before signing up for membership. Lee has kindly offered this!


Would it make sense to have a separate thread that has the word PETS in the title?
Somewhere new people can ask questions and search the previous discussions.

Obviously the point is quite important for some people and could also be a deal breaker. It would be nice that there was a detailed discussion where people can record the thought process rather than an addendum to a discussion on a plenary session.


@Dave_behave thanks for the suggestion. If you like I can add it to the backlog of Team Recruitment and Onboarding, but for now I would rather focus on other things.

My feeling is that in the current group we have now gone through it, and that is that. When we go out to recruit new people - which will probably only be once we have bought the site - I’d be happy to create such a post if that is what people think is necessary.



This is a kind reminder that the deadline for requesting associate membership is this Sunday 18/12 COB. If you’d like to continue to attend The Reef’s meetings, being an associate member is a necessary condition. You’ll find all the necessary information in the first post in this thread, in the first 3 paragraphs (click through to the membership process document). When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact your buddy!

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Hi @reeflings, time has come to take a step forward, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the right time for me to commit to this project. So I’m getting off and wave you bye bye. Thank you for your warm welcome and good moments I shared with you. Best of luck for The Reef to turn into reality soon.


Good luck then Anna Maria!

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Hi all. I have also decided not to continue my membership. It doesn’t seem to be the right time for me to make this commitment. I would have loved to spend more good moments with you guys and learn new skills.
So I thank all very much. Hope our paths will cross again. And hope to visit the newly built Reef very soon!