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October 8, 2011
Public can tour 2 homes that stopped traffic in Davis

By C.M. Anderson
canderson@sacbee.com

In one week, the public can tour two old houses that have found a new life in Davis as part of a residential cooperative that focuses on sustainable, energy-efficient living.

You may have seen the two 1930s-era homes in August of last year when one of them got stuck between a railroad crossing arm and a walnut tree as it was being moved along B Street to its new home. The move through central Davis attracted many residents as a stop sign had to be removed and tree branches trimmed to make way for the homes.

The Solar Community Housing Association is opening the doors of the two homes at 2 p.m. Oct. 15. Tours will be at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m., attendees will be treated to an ice cream social and music. The homes are located at 233 J St. and 239 J St.

The Solar Community Housing Association says the open house will be a thank-you party and a seminar, of sorts, for the community. Attendees can see up close how to make older homes more energy efficient.

Eight people will live in the homes as part of a single cooperative. They'll also continue working on the homes, installing native landscaping in the gardens, solar panels around the homes, as well as a greywater system.

The co-op residents, whose income cannot exceed 80 percent of the Yolo County median, will share meals, upkeep and resources. The solar housing association reports that more than 100 interns from the University of California, Davis, used the project as a way to get hands-on lessons in construction and "green" solutions. Expert contractors supervised the effort, but many volunteers helped.

Besides the solar housing association, the project also received help from the City of Davis Redevelopment Agency, Davis Energy Group, Yolo Federal Credit Union, Sherman Construction, Johnson Design, the Davis Historical Commission, and the Old East Davis Neighborhood Association. You can learn more about this cooperative housing project at www.schadavis.org.

Call The Bee's C.M. Anderson, (916) 321-1193.

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