Let's Build Something Special...

Olamina Commons - Urban Microvillage  & Community 

Mission of the project

We are co-creating Olamina Commons, a residential microvillage where abundance, decision-making and responsibilities are shared. 

This project embraces the power of collaboration, equitable living  and community  practices grounded in a new way of listening with care to one another. 

This project is inspired by...

Learn about Missing Middle Housing

Opticos Design


Opticos work with the city of Winston Salem lead to adoption of new planning and development ordinances that enable building missing middle housing. See the 2019 presentation here: https://www.cityofws.org/DocumentCenter/View/1467/Missing-Middle-Housing-May-2019-PDF 

How to turn a neighborhood into a village

architect Mark Lakeman, founder of Communitecture Architecture and the City Repair Project. 

Other projects from Communitecture: Cully Green Cohousing, Cully Grove Cohousing, Sabin Green Cohousing, Mason Street Townhomes (Cohousing), Peninsula Park Cohousing, Ruth's Littlest Village (Cohousing) https://www.communitecture.net/ 

Earthseed is a center for community resilience through cooperative ownership of land and resources. Earthseed is a transformational response to systemic oppression, committed to centering People of Color and other communities pushed to the margins.

Projects include Tierra Negra Farms near Durham, a collective of farmers, educators and cultural workers, striving to model a community-controlled food system that is just and sustainable.



Building affordable duplexes that help residents generate wealth

Donovan Adesoro explains a project:

$50K lot, $250 build, Buyer has $1800 mortgage with $1200 rental income

Neighborhood gets revitalized

Foundation for Intentional Community https://www.ic.org/

Lauren Oya Olamina: Theologian of Our Time by Tamisha A. Tyler  explains why it is time for Olamina


Building Small

Jim Heid, FSLA

Integrating the best thinking in economic resilience, authentic placemaking, and social responsibility https://www.jheid.com/small/

This is what 36 dwelling units in an urban location on 5 acres looks like.

Shared resources include: pool, chickens, garden, lawn, children's house, common house, work shop, art room, guest house and abundant fruit trees.


The CoHousing Company


Investing Strategies

Lili Invests breaks down house hacking (rehab, not new construction)

South Park Village

America’s First Black-Owned Tiny Home Village near Atlanta

Developer Booker T Washington


Microlife Institute, Atlanta Georgia


Building Visions

$95K 460 sq ft cottage made of mix of new and reclaimed materials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQfqgwzXjdw

Panelized homes by Topsider

(either for the main house or for the cottages?)


Yes, you can permit a tiny house on a foundation. Your home can be as small as 200 square feet with at least 1 room no less than 120 square feet and a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet.  All hall ways will be required to be minimum of  36″ and any actual stairs will have to built to code. 


Site Visions

This is what upscale urban development can look like

This is the site plan for South Park Cottages in Georgia  (SOLD OUT)


This is what a pocket neighborhood in a high density neighborhood can look like. 


This is what typical Winston Salem suburban sprawl looks like

0.21 acres per densely packed 1900 sf house, built on slab

Minimal open space. Significant portion of land for cars, not people

This is what we are disrupting

Zoning Preferences

Cotrage Court is allowed in Growth Management Areas 1, 2, 3 and maybe 4

Residential Single RS7 (.17 Urban),  RS9 (.21 Suburb),  RSQ (.11 Quadraplex)

Residential Multi RM5 (5 units per acre), RM8 (8 units per acre), RM12 (12 units per acre), RM18 (18 units per acre), RMU (Multifam unrestricted)

Mixed Use MU-S

Commercial zones: E, NB (low density), PB (high density)

Usual minimum lot shown in ()

Ideal Site Characteristics

at least 1 acre, direct road access

Any Cottage Court shall have a minimum of four (4) and a maximum of fourteen (14) units 

a primary entrance oriented toward the Courtyard Open Space. 

Ideal Site:





Sites considered and rejected: 

8256 Nautical Point DR  Belews Creek NC 27009 PIN # 6980-45-9438

Cool farm house on 5 acres at the top of a hill, but AirBNB in Belews Creek is <50% capacity and 2 unsightly neighbors. 

0 Hickory Glen Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27106

RM-8-S PIN# 6817-95-2994

1.37 acres

Cool near stores but deep incline likely water issues

Commercial lots on Northampton in Walkertown (Multiple, especially old church)

Price too high


PB Road - Lewisville

5 acres, 1 1950s house

RS9, Country Club area

Northampton - Walkertown

0 NE Northampton Dr, Winston Salem, NC 27105  (between 4020 and 4050)

$49,900 2.91 Acres

Land could be divided into 2-4 possible lots for new home builds.

Listed by: Lisa Pfefferkorn

Coldwell Banker Advantage

Source: Triad MLS,MLS#: 1103886 

Woods and Old Town - North Suburban

1.15 acres

RS9 On the 88 bus line