Silver Leaf is designed to facilitate aging in place physically, socially, and environmentally.

Silver Leaf is located on 3rd Street between Clark Street and Minnesota Street in Paonia, Colorado.  The community consists of ten detached single-family homes and one duplex and is designed for and with the people intending to live there. The homes are approximately 950 square feet in size with two bedrooms and one or one and a half baths. The homes are on one level and universally designed to be wheelchair accessible. They are designed to facilitate aging in place physically, socially, and environmentally. The duplex has two stories, one is occupied by a long-term renter. The remaining homes are owner occupied.


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A Sustainable Vision

The site plan is designed to maximize passive solar gain and preserve as much open space as possible given the majority of the homes are single story. We have also added a large solar array that serves the entire community. The site also has ample space and easy access to organic gardens.


Our solar array is the largest residential array in Delta County, and allows us operate with 75% of our electricity from solar energy.

Holistic Living

The project includes a common house with a kitchen, dining area, multi-purpose room for social and educational gatherings, guest room/creative art/work space, and space for exercise or yoga.

The first residents moved into their homes in the fall of 2018.The remainder in the spring of 2019. To date, all homes are occupied. There are occasionally homes for sale, so please check our home page for announcements.



We provide housing that is barrier free, easy to access, and easy to maintain.


The site is designed to promote simple living and to encourage social interaction. From the site, you can see some of the most beautiful mountains in Colorado. The landscaping augments the beauty of the natural environment.

Intelligent Design

The project was developed by a not-for-profit corporation with the idea of providing housing for people to live from and not for. The homes are small and attainable, if not affordable. Most of the residents are downsizing and this will leave more time and money to enjoy life and give back to the community as elders.


The project was designed with the goal of making life simpler and more sustainable by sharing resources among community residents.


Cohousing communities by their very nature (mission, vision and values) attract the kind of community-minded residents that fit well into the community at large. Those attracted to cohousing embrace community and understand cooperative efforts. The town of Paonia, a unique, welcoming place, appreciates the wisdom and experience of elders as sages in the community.

The Inspiration

The cohousing development concept began in Denmark and was brought to this county by an architect, Charles Durrett, in 1989. There are hundreds of multigenerational cohousing projects successfully built and working well in the United States and Canada. In 2009 Durrett published the Senior Cohousing Handbook identifying the need for and steps to create a senior/elder cohousing community. With baby boomers at or approaching retirement age, there is much interest in senior/elder cohousing and a number of projects have been built or are currently in the planning stage.