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

Silver Leaf is located on a beautiful site on 3rd Street between Clark Street and Minnesota Street in Paonia, Colorado.  The project 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 spiritually. The duplex, not yet designed, may have two stories with one of the stories for a potential caregiver to one or more of the residents should it be needed. The majority of the units will be 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. This site will also have ample space and easy access to organic gardens.

It is anticipated a good deal of the produce consumed by residents will be grown on site.

Holistic Living

The project will also include a common house that will be used for the activities of the residents. The shared common house will likely include space for a kitchen, dining area, multi-purpose room for social and educational gatherings, guest room(s), creative art/work space, a shop, laundry room, and space for exercise and yoga. The ultimate uses of the common house will be determined by the residents and in large part will be determined by cost.

We plan to begin construction in the spring of 2016.  Completion will depend on having committed residents.



We will 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 will augment the beauty of the natural environment.

Intelligent Design

The project is being 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 for them to spend in the community and working on creative endeavors.


The project is 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, will appreciate 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.