September 13, 2005

Neighbors Applaud Planned Memphis ‘Smart Growth’ Project

"As city and county leaders look for ways to tame the monster that is sprawl, neighbors of the planned development in the rapidly growing area near Walnut Grove and Forest Hill Irene are citing the project as a model for others to follow," the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.

The Gardens of Gray's Hollow development, to be built in phases, may ultimately include more than 1,100 residetial units on about 380 acres. Lot sizes will vary from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet. About 38% of the site will be used for open space, the newspaper notes, but not simply empty unusable space as a buffer between it and neraby developments. Instead, some homes will look out on small town "greens;" there will also be a "greenbelt system" including walking paths as well as conventional sidewalks. "Five areas of the greenbelt system where the developer plans to remove dirt for construction will be turned into lakes. "

Carson Looney, who lives in the Grays Creek area, said that while the original plan had some serious flaws, Bronze was willing to work with his potential new neighbors to maintain the integrity of bordering properties and streetscapes while creating a neighborhood that can be sustained over a long period of time.

Of course, you have to have some forward-thinking zoning to get developments like that, instead of knee-jerk reactions that require cookie-cutter suburban lot sizes.

It's unclear from the article whether there will be commercial and office space in the development as well; and if so, what kind. "Smart growth" typically includes the ability for residents to walk to destinations besides someone else's home, such as shopping and even work.

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