Culpepper Landing

Archive for December, 2009

Christmas, Row Homes and Christmas at Culpepper Landing

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Christmas comes to Culpepper Landing with our residents enjoying their first Christmas in their new homes and in Culpepper Landing. One of the row home residents wrote a wonderful thank you note to Doreen and I. She mentioned watching a Bald Eagle as it soared around the lake in front of her home. It’s peaceful and serene around the lake.   You can walk on the pier and sit and watch the birds.  In better weather you can read a book and enjoy the quiet time.

Our own Kris Kringle has moved in and his home explains the nickname.  Many of our neighbors have truly decked the halls!  The only thing missing is the snow! How cool would a white Christmas be. We don’t get many of those in this region but we can hope!

Of the 12 Homearama Homes, we have contracts on 10, that leaves only two. Someone will be getting a great deal on those homes. One is the Elisabeth by Widener Homes. It’s a Charleston style 2 story with a beautiul office on the first floor with built in book cases, play closet for the little ones, dining room and family room.You can view the virtual our at http://www.tourimaging.com/vt/House2/  

  The Whittaker is still available and offers to its purchaser an additional $13,000.00 tax credit for the geo thermal HVAC system. This home features a master bedroom on the first floor, many built in’s,  family room, screened porch, detached garage with unfinished room over which can easily be completed as you wish.  The builder used hardwood flooring as well as concrete and cork ! Granite countertops, custom paint, designer touches make this an appealing home.  The virtual tour link  http://www.tourimaging.com/vt/House11.  

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends and check back soon.

Dog Parks to be part of neighborhood amenities at Culpepper Landing

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Before I tell you about the dog parks coming to Culpepper Landing… let me tell you about my dog Taz.   A terrier mix, a feisty little fellow strong as an ox, ornery as my Granddaddy ever was, and in true terrier form, patrolled my back yard to keep any intruders away… in whatever form they came,  a squirrel, a bird,  a neighbors kid.  He liked kids I must say.. adults sometimes, not so much! 

 My son Sean wanted a dog and a fellow I knew wanted a new home for his dog so off we go to bring Taz home.  He never was a “house dog” he preferred the outdoors in his younger years.  As he aged he decided inside the garage was acceptable and a kennel with the door left open was fine to sleep in.  So I provided heat to the garage in the winter and a fan in the summer and if it rained… all of a sudden he wasn’t going anywhere!  I added a dog door for ease of commute from indoors to out but he would have no part of it!  “You can leave the door open and while you are gone I’ll come and go as I please.. and no worries no intruder will get pass me,” sincerely Taz.  Last night I came home and found Molly , Taz’s pal already inside the kennels whimpering… couldn’t see why and then I heard a bark coming from Taz, didn’t sound good. My little fellow had had a stroke. I called my friend Nancy to come over and called the Vet and waited for his advice.   Thank God, for friends like Nancy always there in a time of crisis… the Vet was very kindly and gentle with Taz as he put him down. Not an easy decision but the best one for my little guy.   Taz was independent, stand offish at times, but his eyes told the tale. Beautiful brown eyes that looked sweet and gentle… and though he wouldn’t always let you pet him, his eyes said it all.  I really loved that dog.  

Culpepper Landing is a neighborhood that understands the pet lovers out there!  The developers have dog parks planned in Culpepper Landing. We not only want to bring you home to Culpepper Landing we welcome your pets as well.

My first introduction to Dog Parks came about 12 years ago when my daughter Summer, headed off to school at Tulane University in New Orleans.   While visiting her we took her dogs to what she and her husband referred to as the “dog levy”.  The Dog Levy, is an off leash area for the dogs to run and socialize with their peers while their owners got to know one another and share stories about their canine companions.  I went on that first outing with much trepidation. You see I had the mistaken notion that the dogs would all want to fight one another!  Not so, though occasionally an unruly lad or lass would try, their behavior was quickly corrected.  Wow this was like Planet of the Dogs! 

Dog Parks are popular world wide. They offer a place for dogs to run and exercise and be with their pals. They encourage their owner’s off the sofa and out the door to the dog park where they also socialize getting to know their neighbors.  A great article on dog parks can be found on Wikipedia… here’s the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_park

Characteristics of our Traditional Neighborhood Development

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Characteristics of a Traditional Neighborhood Development

Design Purpose and Community Benefits

 

Culpepper Landing community is a “TND” – a “traditional neighborhood development”.  That means that it has been specially designed to encourage pedestrian-ism – walking.  Increasing pedestrian-ism has numerous benefits:

 

                     Community interactions increases so that neighbors get to know one another;

                     Vehicular traffic declines because people can go to parks, restaurants and churches without getting in their cars;

                     Streets and parks become safer because of the number of people using them;

                     Children and older citizens, who may not be able to drive, can safely walk; and

                     Residents’ health increases and obesity decreases.

 

Many of the traits that people seek out in a neighborhood – a feeling of community, a sense of place or safe conditions for their children – spring from this emphasis on pedestrianism and can only be collectively achieved through TND design.

 

In order to encourage people to walk, a number of conditions must be created.  It must be safe to walk.  There must be worthwhile destinations within walking distance, and the journey must be pleasant.  Important elements of TND’s, working in concert, create these conditions.  The Founder must initially create these elements.  It will be the community’s responsibility to preserve them.

 

TNDs create safer streets in a number of ways.  They use a network of smaller, connected streets rather than smaller streets feeding into bigger streets that feed into yet bigger streets that will be difficult for pedestrians to cross.  Thus, it is important not to close off connections.  TNDs use more narrow streets than conventional development with lower design speeds to force vehicles to slow down and also allow pedestrians to cross streets quickly.  Cars parked along the sides of streets in TNDs also cause traffic to slow and reduce the visual impacts of having numerous parking lots.  Pedestrians also feel safer with a barrier between them and traffic.  Street trees provide a similar barrier, besides increasing the beauty of streets and providing comfortable shade.  Alleys or lanes often provide the primary means of vehicular access to homes and businesses in TNDs.  This means that there are fewer driveways and parking lot entrances for pedestrians to navigate.  Houses and businesses in a TND typically are closer to the street, increasing safety by the many “eyes on the street.”  Similarly, parks and open spaces are normally surrounded by residences, providing 24-hour security.

 

When correctly designed, almost every residence in a TND is within a five-minute walk from some significant destination.  Typically, TNDs have greater densities near their cores in order to maximize the number of people who can easily reach the stores and restaurants or other destinations that often locate in these areas.  These areas are supposed to be vibrant and attractive, so they may have somewhat more light, a little more noise later into the evening and tighter parking conditions than other parts of the neighborhood.  This is a cost of their being worthwhile destinations.  Other communal destinations such as parks, amphitheaters, churches or schools have different neighborhood interactions.  It is these destinations that give the community its character.  Similarly, the parks and common areas of TNDs are usually open to the public, including people outside the TND.  In this way a TND gives something back to the surrounding neighborhood.  This also makes these destinations richer interactions in the larger community, beyond the edge of the TND.

 

Finally, the journey of the pedestrian must be pleasant and interesting.  Sidewalks and trails often tie the TND together although sometimes streets are so small that no sidewalks are necessary.  Along these paths, houses and shops pull up close to the street, providing interesting visual stimulus.  Porches and stoops are encouraged in order to increase neighborly interactions.  The typical TND creates a “building wall” along the street made up of the fronts of houses, shops and other buildings, and the community uses an architectural code to assure that the shared public area of the street is beautiful and interesting.

 

The benefits of pedestrianism are many.  The design elements of TNDs that deliver those benefits can be accidentally destroyed through inattention.  A through street is closed.  The fire chief strips the parking off of a street.  A parking lot is constructed up on a street.  A park is closed to the public.  The TND features and the design principles of Culpepper Landing must be protected through the years in order to continue to produce the desired benefits and it is the residents’ responsibility to ensure this protection.

 

The vision for Culpepper Landing is grand and will take several years to achieve.  However, the long-term success of the community depends on you and your involvement in this great community.  Welcome to Culpepper Landing!