I need some recommendations for home builders and land developers from readers of this discussion list, but am not sure where in the forums to place it. I hope a moderator will be able to find a slot for it if this isn't the best spot.
I live in Edgecliff Village, Texas, an enclave on the south side of Fort Worth, directly south of I-20 and directly east of I-35. The layout is such that many of the houses have large yards (.33 to full acres and more). Many streets follow the topography, and there are lots of old established good quality trees and some very fine gardens and landscaped yards. There is a quasi-rural feel to much of the village because of this, despite our proximity to Fort Worth proper.
There is a 250-acre undeveloped parcel on the eastern-most side of town. It is a mix of riparian and rolling prairie, beautiful land with a variety of small indigenous tree species and several significant drainage areas. The Sycamore tributary of the Trinity River runs through it. (You could almost say â€œA River Runs Through It!)
The builder/developer teams who have come before our zoning board and city council so far have been trying to maximize their profits by putting in tiny lots and houses shoulder to shoulder (in the latest proposal, five feet from the fence on either side. The way the overhang from the roof fits into this picture, these houses will have only about seven feet of space between from roof edge to roof edge and a fence down the middle). Understanding that we arenâ€™t in a position to keep it natural forever, many of us living nearby this vacant property would like to see it platted in a way similar to what is already in Edgecliff. We'd like to see houses on lots large enough so people can put in gardens and evocative landscapes, so they have room for good trees, and we want to see a builder come in who understands about leaving some native trees, about following natural contours and giving creeks enough room to flow (no channelizing), and about planting good materials when they landscape these houses.
Are there any builders in the North Texas area who design their subdivisions and houses "The Natural Way?" We can't bring Henry David Thoreau back from the dead, but can we find someone who puts the quality of the homestead ahead of squishing every buck out of a prime site? Who builds the kind of place where Ol' Henry could plant his beans! Where do some of the organic gardeners on this discussion board live, and do your builders operate in North Texas? Or have you heard about builders like this? The property recently changed hands, and this is our third developer in as many years. Though it is too soon to say the builder will pull back from the project, the last two have when faced with demands such as ours. We'd like to point this property owner toward responsible builders to work out a plan we can live with. Of course he can ignore us, but we can try!
Edgecliff is a little gem of a village--it always blows my friends away when they pull up to my house, because they KNOW that I live only three blocks from the major intersection of these two freeways yet it looks like something out in the woods. My back yard abuts Sycamore Creek, and there is an amazing array of birds and small animals (up to and including coyotes) that regularly come through. We want to see housing that doesn't exclude the wildlife and doesn't scrape the ground bare before building from scratch, where each yard gets a good organic start by not being nuked and burned with chemicals. I'm posting a tiny url link to an aerial photo page that shows Edgecliff. http://tinyurl.com/vsbj
Is this a pipe dream, or do such developers exist? We need to get our new landowner-neighbor pointed in the right direction!