With the graying of baby boomers, the real estate market is seeing a great demand for communities that feature amenities uniquely designed to suit the needs of older, active adults. The owners of Village Grande, formerly known as Getz Farm, wished to develop a new 264-unit active-adult community on a site containing a wooded stream corridor and associated floodplain. Site design for this location would need to protect and enhance the natural features of the property.
RETTEW drafted a new zoning regulation to create an overlay district in which all land development would follow a green or sustainable approach. To that end, RETTEW helped to obtain a state grant for the restoration of Millers Run, which flows through the property, and designed a large passive wetland treatment system for stormwater management that doubles as an open space site amenity. Implementation of RETTEW’s stream restoration design removes existing debris jams, regrade and stabilizes stream banks, installs in-stream structures to improve stream flow, and reduces soil erosion with forested riparian buffer plantings. In addition to controlling stormwater runoff, the passive wetland treatment system provided a wetland habitat for wildlife by providing natural wetland vegetation and open water areas. RETTEW’s overall design for Village Grande incorporates walking and bike trails, passive and active recreation, and open space, while also preserving and enhancing the land’s essential, natural features.