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What American City is worst when it comes to cookie cutter subdivisions?

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What American City is worst when it comes to cookie cutter subdivisions?

Old Apr 14th, 2002, 03:40 AM
  #1  
Jim
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What American City is worst when it comes to cookie cutter subdivisions?

Travelers, expect some seriously ugly scenes in northern VA.

Here in northern Virginia they just cut down another 100 acre woodland near my house, that had been filled with 100 year old trees, to build another cookie cutter subdivision. Every single family house looks exactly the same! Every house is right in a row, each 5 feet from each other. Each house takes up 75 percent of the lot, leaving no room for grass or trees. Incredibly ugly! The shocker: the houses are being sold for over $600,000.00!!!

Tell me about your home town, are all the homes cookie cutter (exactly the same), are they leaving any trees and grass in the new neighborhoods. What do you think about it? If you hate what it is doing to your town, why isn't development like this banned?
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 03:41 AM
  #2  
Vance
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Phoenix (no trees are being cut down) but I see new developments that are over 1000 houses exactly the same. I agree, there should be a law!
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 05:21 AM
  #3  
wanda
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Holey moley, it's got to be Dallas suburbs!
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 05:41 AM
  #4  
OliveOyl
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The problem--big city with bedroom suburbs. Big city grows with more and more people transferred in, all wanting to be close to their places of work. To fit more houses as close as possible to town, lot sizes shrink. Now, most all these people make good money and want the house that goes along with it SO, you also have large houses built on these tiny lots. Suburbs expand further out, then company headquarters start relocating to the distant suburb to make it more convenient for their employees. That means...even more communities even further from the original city spring up with big houses on tiny lots so more will fit in. We've lived there, Plano, Texas, but what's the solution to the problem? Stop company growth and expansion? I don't see that there is one.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #5  
aceplace
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OliveOyl,

The solution to the problem lies in a new urban design principle called "New Urbanism". The people you mentioned want houses, not country estates, and the ultimate destination for them is the townhouse or row house.

For a good example of townhouse neighborhoods in an urban setting, look at Dallas Uptown area... you'll ess a densely populated neighborhoods with less traffic congestion than many suburbs. For a suburban example, look at the Columbus Circle area in the Dallas suburb of Addison. The neighborhood looks like a Northern European town, with a town square, and attached houses on the periphery. People can now walk to things they used to drive for, etc.

Plano is in that uncomfortable gray area of being neither well-organized city nor spacious suburb. Perhaps it is the customers of housing who need to get out of their ruts.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #6  
PCM
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Jim, we lived in Parkfairfax until we moved away about 20 yrs. ago. We came back to Alexandria/Arlington/Fairfax for a visit last month and I was appalled. I think No.Va. has to be one of the frontrunners in the worst-cookie-cutter development sweepstakes. Might as well take up residence in an egg-carton -- I don't care how much they cost.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #7  
OliveOyl
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You are right of course, but that concept is just now taking hold as some people are more willing to give up their ideas of suburban utopia with a plot of grass all their own--after seeing what that plot of grass in suburban utopia has become.

Plano grew willy-nilly (from 70,000 when we moved there in '77 to about 250,000 now) but in contrast to where we currently live, they did it well. The lots may be small and houses similar to all those in the Metroplex, but they grew the school system with excellent facilities, and the library and park systems to accommodate the activities these families were looking for. The city we now find ourselves in just adds portable classrooms one after another...little trailers in parking lots as the schools become overcrowded (which is as soon as they are opened)...real attractive. The closest library is probably 5 miles from us and it's a small branch with little to offer. I haven't even seen a soccer field.

There will probably always be those who insist on the yard and swimming pool all their own, no matter what sized yard and pool. The Fox and Jacobs upscale urban living townhouse community built in downtown Dallas in the 80's (?) almost didn't survive initially because the concept was rejected by families who couldn't quite give up that dream.

At this point in our lives, with the kids grown and gone, I'd adopt it in a minute, but am quite sure it would not have been anything we would have wanted when they were younger.

 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 06:48 AM
  #8  
l
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It's sad to see quiet areas with lots of undeveloped land becoming like anywhere USA. Everytime I go over to Naples I see so much growth. It may be good for the locals to finally get Target and all the other chain stores and restaurants but it also takes the charm away. In South Florida we have so many new communities which are zero-lot. They're very popular since the older homes are either in undesirable neighborhoods or have a premium price. New is a nice comprimise for land and location, I guess. We're not cutting down trees here but thousands of people are living very close to the Everglades.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 07:00 AM
  #9  
the
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Denver
Phoenix
Dallas
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #10  
ncgrrl
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If the new urbanism elsewhere is like what was done in Chapel Hill, NC, it needs improvement. Still clear cutting hundreds of acres for homes that look the same. Stepfordish. Yes there are townhomes (from the $300,000!!!) and apartments, but no old growth trees. Nothing against Bradford pears, but they are not native tress.

And the 'business center' isn't that big. Maybe a boutique that has 20 employees. But most of the residents will have to leave the neighborhood for employment.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 08:13 AM
  #11  
Nuther Taw Heel
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Ah, Meadowmont! You ain't seen nothing yet, ncgirl. Not much Kevin Foy can do if the Univ. and developers want to have their way with Chapped Heel.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 09:06 AM
  #12  
travellyn
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Phoenix is the worst I have seen so far.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #13  
ddd
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Look at San Jose for an example of what a subduvisions can look like 30 years later - ugly and run down!
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #14  
ncgrrl
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Nuther Taw Heel do you by chance mean the Horace Williams property? That 1,500 foot runway could be more useful (not to me, but to UNC) as a whole bunch of lab and dorm space. Never mind the roads around the area can't handle the current traffic. I guess chancellor Moeser doesn't drive Estes at rush hour.

And don't forget the first new urbanism in CH, Southern Village. If they were going to clear cut the land, couldn't they flatten the land too?

 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 11:05 AM
  #15  
teri
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Phoenix has to be the worst. Yes, many other cities have subdivisions that the houses look alike, but in phoenix $500,000 homes look just like the lower end. If you get into some the older areas, there is some personality, but all the new houses look the same, stucco with tile roofs.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 11:10 AM
  #16  
Howitzer
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How many of us grew up in those cookie cutter, almost treeless subdivisions and look back with wonderful memories of friends and fun adventures even there?
Its easy to maintain, safe, and comfortable..and damn if all those pine trees in virginia growing so close together dont give me the creeps.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 11:10 AM
  #17  
Fran
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Has anyone been to Hilton Head SC? To me that is the model for great looking residential areas, so few trees are cut down during development and each house has a varied look.

Every year development has smaller lots and less trees saved in the typical subdivision (except Hilton Head). Most of the City Council types elections are paid for by the development community who are pushing for the no tree save, cooker cutter, small lot high volume- small lot development.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 11:39 AM
  #18  
Hatetobenegativebut...
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Large lots might mean a few more trees in yards, but far less in forests. Which is more important to you? Smaller lots make better use of infrastructure. Big lot subdivisions = more concrete, asphalt, car exhaust and riding lawn mowers.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #19  
charles
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THe subdivisions around Denver are pretty bad, but I'm sure worse exist.

THe problem is not the small lots. Its the goddam ugly piece of crap houses that are built on them, often at great cost. It gives me great pleasure to know that everyone who buys one of thoses things is in for a world of heartache down the road. THey are built astonishingly poorly - I see plenty of half million dollar houses I expect to start rotting/collapsing in 10 years.

A developer special is garbage no matter how much you pay for it.
 
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #20  
Lou
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Same problem everywhere. Just came back from Boston and everyplace 50 miles north,south,east and west of the city is the same
 

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