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Partner Spotlight: Rethink what a neighborhood can be

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Photo from Hartness Living

Did you ever watch Gilmore Girls and wish you lived in Stars Hollow, where you could walk from your house to Luke’s Diner or the cozy park? Or maybe you longed for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry, where everyone knew their neighbors’ middle names. Well, get ready — those kind of communities are about to make a comeback.

Hartness is proposing a new way of smart living, but it’s also about thoughtful planning, scale + design on the part of the developers. The official title: a Traditional Neighborhood Development.

It means the assumptions you might have about modern living aren’t set in stone. You might be used to the idea of a big front yard, but if houses are closer to the street, that means more room for common green space like a park for all the neighborhood kids (and who honestly wants to maintain a front yard?). It seems normal for new developments to look a little copy-pasted, but what if there was an architect considering each house individually?

In a TND, the community reflects the makeup of society — zoning codes can mean that areas become divided by income level and demographic, but Hartness is figuring out how to have 900 sq. ft. homes fit seamlessly next to 2600 sq. ft. homes. Not only will the community be more diverse, but the variety of houses means that you can grow within your community instead of moving across town to find a bigger or smaller house. No hunting for new schools, doctors + go-to coffee shops.

Restaurants, boutiques + offices will all be built in, and an amenity will be within 5 minutes walking distance of anywhere in the development (where that thoughtful scale comes into play). 800 homes (from the $400Ks to the millions) will be clustered throughout 440 acres of land, saving 180 acres as a protected nature preserve.

Another thing most neighborhoods don’t have: a Lifestyle Director coordinating events where residents can come together, like a farmers’ market, wine tastings, a concert series, outdoor movies, 5k races + holiday festivals. Kind of like your own little city – minus the crowds + traffic.

Smart living means becoming more community-minded, and Hartness is working daily to find businesses that fit the community, encourage connection within the development + listen to what people want. Having the development divided into phases means Hartness can adapt to the market during the process and remain flexible. The fact that a TND doesn’t fit into traditional zoning guidelines also means that Hartness has the opportunity to experiment with ways to create the strongest and most vibrant community possible.

It takes a lot more work to develop this kind of community (think 10-15 years for Hartness), but the quality of life in a TND is worth it.

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