Conservation Subdivision
CONSERVATION SUBDIVISION The site was conceptually designed by Randall Arendt, a site designer from Rhode Island. Mr. Arendt is internationally renowned for his “conservation subdivisions” which have been developed across North America (Greener Prospects, Randall Arendt’s consulting firm website The incorporation of conservation into the overall site design of Strawberry Hill has led to a) considerable financial savings on infrastructure costs, especially compared to those faced by current market competitors and b) increased quality of life components throughout the proposed residential area. Homes are nestled in a friendly neighbourhood with increased density and common areas, a public gazebo, trails for walkability and other green spaces – including a community organic garden and vineyard. The overall site takes advantage of natural land features to reduce the need for storm water drainage requirements and other infrastructure components. LED street lamps are dark sky compliant, smart sensor activated and powered by the wind. Mr. Arendt's conservation subdivision design is followed by the inclusion of environmental design and energy performance into the development. These "environmental and energy packages" are customizable and branded into the core marketing and development processes. The result is a community ideally situated along seascapes and sunsets. The compact, super-insulated homes are designed to incorporate passive solar design, natural day lighting and ventilation, advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and other environmental attributes which homebuyers can easily customize. The Strawberry Hill location features one of the highest vantages and most attractive water views in the municipality and surrounding region – and is a place where seafaring vessels can commonly be seen voyaging the Charlottetown Harbour and Northumberland Strait. The Strawberry Hill development offers a convincing setting for young professionals, small families and senior demographics – catering to each segment differently. By incorporating sustainability principles and a mix of unique features throughout the entire process, Strawberry Hill is able capitalize on synergies, tap into hidden market potential, and through validation and prudence, is able to introduce differentiated real-estate options to the marketplace – adding value for multiple consumer market segments. PLANNING THE SITE Sustainable by Design Mr. Arendt has been a powerful advocate of landscape conservation planning for three decades. Educated with a BA degree from Wesleyan University, Mr. Arendt received his Masters in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University Of Edinburgh. He has written five books on urban planning and design and has presented numerous lectures throughout North America based on the principle that planning today must depart from the standardized subdivision concepts that dominate our landscape. Randall Arendt's approach is very simple – reduce the footprint of the lot size, select house designs that suit the reduced lot sizes and create green space within the development that will protect the landscape, enhance the vista, preserve the forest, and create a community. According to Mr. Arendt, from the perspective of the developer, the first step should be to determine the open space or green space within the development, the second step is to select the house location and the third step involves “connecting the dots” by aligning the streets and trails to serve the homes. Mr. Arendt's first approach is to walk the property, select the features that are unique to the property and make every effort to preserve and protect these special features and then design the homes around these great features. From Mr Arendt's perspective, he believes our love affair with large lots is changing. As home owners, the time and maintenance required by conventional properties is becoming more demanding. Our aging population is developing a different mindset whereby the boomers want more time for leisure activities; there is a need to downsize from larger homes that demand more financial resources to heat, repair, and pay the property taxes. Homeowners today, both young and old are looking for convenience; they want the grass cut, the snow removed, gardens attended to and they are willing to pay for these services. SUSTAINABLE PLANNING BENEFITS Unlocking Hidden Potential The following are some factors that Mr. Arendt has brought forward in creating sustainable developments that can benefit the developer, the community involved and the residents of the development. Shared benefits included the following: * Greater flexibility in lot sizes allows developers to create smaller lots for empty-nesters who wish to spend more time on leisure activities. * The sustainable approach to development is a step towards the preservation of special features of the property which can lead to the creation of unique housing designs, often creating more curb side appeal. * Greater economic value can be created within the development by the creation of open spaces which lead to faster re-sale for homes. * This layout approach can develop a stronger sense of community within the development.
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