This cutting edge project, a joint venture by two non-profits, provides Affordable Home Ownership, Community Orientation and Smart Growth through a cluster development of 45 housing units on 26 acres. The project required the Planning Board and City Council to revise regulations to offer an incentive for developers to use the alternative clustered design by allowing a larger number of houses on smaller parcels of land. Also included is a small commercial site.
The project has many features as described below.
- Affordable Home Ownership for families with moderate incomes, such as teachers and firefighters, is hard to find and afford. This large site provides small lots with compact dwellings efficiently and affordably accommodate basic needs.
- Community Orientation The site is dedicated to people and designed so that vehicles and parking do not dominate. Clustered buildings encourage interaction and preserve open space for recreation. Paths interconnect the existing neighborhood, schools, and the village’s community center, playgrounds and gardens.
- Smart Growth This neighborhood is located near city center job opportunities, shopping and two public schools to reduce road trips. Wise site design takes advantage of the topography, vegetation and the sun, preserves open space, and reduces runoff.
- Small Lots are affordable because they efficiently accommodate basic outdoor needs such as parking, porches and private yards with minimum outdoor maintenance. They preserve land and borrow from common open space for recreation and visual amenities. They encourage neighborliness, as front porches, gardens, and next-door neighbors are closer together.
- Siting of buildings is close to front property lines and sidewalks to enclose the outdoor public street.
- Landscaping contains pedestrian-friendly lighting with regional low maintenance plantings.
- Grade changes (low walls, fences, or a few steps) mark the edge of the public right-of-way.
- Compact Homes (single homes, duplexes and townhouses) are affordable, attractive, easy to maintain, and use little energy when efficiently designed. Indoor and outdoor living spaces are oriented for maximum solar gain.
- Neighborhood Character includes sloped roofs, horizontal siding and trim. Porches are on all homes providing clearly identifiable and welcoming weather-sheltering entries. Porches are located in the “semi-private zone” between the public street and the private home to encourage neighborly interaction.
- Energy Efficiency and Sustainability are fundamental for smart growth and incorporate quality construction, efficient heating, cooling, and maintenance. All the varied architecture is compatible with the neighborhood design and meets Federal Energy Star standards and Maine Housing Green Construction guidelines.