Large, wooded lot, 26,571.6 square feet, located near beautiful Winter Park, Florida. The whole neighborhood is dotted with lakes and parks. The community is unique in that public roads wring individual lakes giving the pedestrian viewing access to the lakes. Farmers market, art festivals and movies-in-the-park are in walking distance, as well. High ground and low taxes are also a feature of this lot.
Maitland is on the move and this property is situated right in the middle of it. To the northeast, within a quarter-mile, downtown Maitland has a plan to make this area more of a traditional pedestrian oriented town center. This mix-use redevelopment plan will feature a commercial promenade with cafes, boutique shops and a town green.
About 3/4 mile southeast of this property a project is planned that will greatly upgrade the connection between Winter Park and Maitland. Ravaudage is an ultra-modern mix-use, upscale development. It will no doubt ensure that properties in the surrounding neighborhoods will increase in value.
Sale of this property will include a site plan, architectural drawings for a proposed custom home with surrounding landscape designs. Promotional 3D graphics will also be part of the package.
The new program has been made possible by a five-year technical assistance grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant will be used to provide direct technical assistance to communities across the nation on how to develop local solutions to help their communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.
An exciting project being promoted by the City of Orlando is the area around the old Amway Arena. The city wants a green, mix-use, digital media business park that is connected with the forthcoming SunRail project. What more could you want? I applaud the City’s forward thinking.
But exurban growth is creating the very thing that made people moved to them in the first place. The shear numbers and popularity of this movement dictates that. The mindless reaction in many of these communities has been to try and stop any and all further growth. Considering the national trend, this is like trying to plug the leak in the dike with your finger, not to mention the obvious selfish hypocrisy of such a position. So how do you sustain this trend and preserve the very things that motivate it?
I attended a symposium a few years ago that covered the topic. Randle Arendt proposes controlled rural growth targeting mainly exurban development, much like New Urbanism advocates for our urban and suburban centers. His method would rely on changing existing codes and ordnances to insure these communities preserve their natural features and countryside vistas. This would require developers to down size large multiple-acre lots to much smaller sized lots in order to dedicate the remaining land to vast common open spaces, thus preserving the surrounding countryside.
Some people feel this is Draconian when applied to comprehensive plans. Arendt apparently feels that the small town and rural features of the countryside would be destroyed without it.
I’m for letting the market decide. Let cookie cutter suburban sprawl continue in our rural areas, basically turning the countryside into what everyone in the suburbs wants to get away from. Then compare that to the quality of life in the developments Arendt supports.