Architectural rendering of the White Rock Crossing “co-housing” development at 700 Easton Road.

While popular in the 1960s, communal living or “co-housing” is having a rebirth as a growing residential trend that brings multiple families together to share a single piece of land. About a mile from White Rock Lake, what may be Dallas’ first co-housing develop is waiting for permits to began construction on 17 single-family homes on a property at 700 Easton Road that will also feature a shared courtyard and common house.

“We get calls every single day about the lots,” says Julia Morris, a leasing agent with New Home Connection Realtors who is helping to fill the complex, known as White Rock Crossing.

With no houses yet built, Morris is selling an idea more than anything. And for some, it’s an idea that’s hard to picture. “I think some people are a little suspicious of it,” Morris says of “co-housing.”

Some hear the term “co-housing” and conjure up images of un-bathed hippies living together in a shared residence. In reality, at White Rock Crossing each family will have their own home, which they can design to their specifications and taste. Much like with condos, the residents will share green space and a common house that is designed to foster community interaction, even regular group meals. Popular in Europe for decades, the concept has taken a toehold in the United States, especially in growing cities where land is at a premium.

“About two and a half years ago, I discovered the ‘cohousing’ movement and found a few like-minded people living nearby that have been walking a similar path with the same desire for interaction with a close community while living as lightly on the land as possible,” wrote Deborah Skinner, president of the White Rock Crossing HOA, on the company’s website. “We searched for about two years for a piece of property in the White Rock Lake area where we could create our community.”

The process to get the land rezoned and permitted for construction has taken longer than expected, but Morris said that four of the property’s 17 lots have already been reserved. The complex features three floor plans for houses ranging from 1,958- to 2,430-square-feet, but exactly how they’re laid out is up to the homeowner.

“The only thing that can’t change is the lot size,” Morris says, adding that homes begin at about $290,000.

White Rock Crossing was first launched by Skinner through her LLC Xaevin, which has since been shuttered. Building is being overseen AndersonSargent of Waxahachie, Texas, which has won several awards for its environmentally friendly homes designs.

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