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Sutherland Place
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COMMUNITY
 




SUTHERLAND PLACE

 

Location
Atlanta, Ga.
Property Area
20 acres
Land Preserved
4 acres
# Units
82 homes
Home Prices
From rental to $510,000 homes
Status
Under construction
Market
Features
Mixed income - various housing types ; Detached
with garage apartments, Courtyard homes, Town
homes, Lofts.
Ecological
Features
Greenway connection to neighborhood park
Stream restoration, storm water treatment
20% greenspace preservation
Community
Features
Mixed income. Diverse age and lifestyle. Community
spaces.

How does the project relate to adjacent uses?

Single-family detached housing surrounds this project. The site is arranged so that the new single family housing buffers the existing housing from the lofts and town homes in the center of the project. The preserved land connects to a greenspace corridor, and a pedestrian path through the greenspace connects to a nearby park, a larger private greenspace on Peavine Creek and Mclendon Ave where a commercial node exists.

Please explain how this development advances the selection criteria of developments of excellence?

Policy 1: ENCOURAGE NEW DEVELOPMENT TO BE MORE CLUSTERED IN PORTIONS OF THE REGION WHERE SUCH OPPORTUNITIES EXIST
This new development is in-fill housing that utilizes previously developed land within an established neighborhood.

Policy 2: STRENGTHEN AND ENHANCE THE RESIDENTIAL AND MIXED USE CHARACTER OF THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT AND CITY AND TOWN CENTERS
The vitality of the nearby urban center of Decatur and its central business district is enhanced by the presence of this project.

Policy 3: STRENGTHEN AND ENHANCE THE RESIDENTIAL AND MIXED-USE CHARACTER OF EXISTING AND EMERGING ACTIVITY CENTERS
Several nearby commercial nodes, within walking distance on Mclendon and Dekalb Ave, are enhanced by the presence of this development.

Policy 4 ENCOURAGE MIXED-USE REDEVELOPMENT OF CORRIDORS WHERE PUBLIC SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Public services are currently available in the area.

Policy 5 ENCOURAGE TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
A MARTA train station is within 1/2 mile walking distance.

Policy 6 SUPPORT THE PRESERVATION OF STABLE, SINGLE-FAMILY NEIGHBORHOODS
This development is integrated into the existing residential neighborhood of Lake Claire with consistent architectural styles and lot layouts that reflect the existing neighborhood.

Policy 7 ENCOURAGE FOCUSED INFILL AND REDEVELOPMENT WHERE ACCEPTABLE TO COMMUNITIES
A rezoning process that included community participation focuses growth away from sensitive riparian environments.

Policy 8 ENCOURAGE MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT
This development includes a mix of live/work space in a focused area on the street beneath residential housing.

Policy 9 ENCOURAGE TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENTS
This development follows a traditional neighborhood pattern by creating narrow streets with pedestrian access enhanced by street trees and lighting, rear lot automobile access and interesting places to go within the development such as park space and commercial activity.

Policy 10 PROTECT ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Development on this project is focused away from a sensitive stream and protects that area with a conservation easement.

Best Land Use Practices:

Practice 1 Keep vehicle miles of travel (VMT) below the area average. Infill developments are the best at accomplishing this. The more remote a development the more self contained it must be to stay below the area average VMT.
This development reduces VMT by both creating in-fill housing in an in town neighborhood with existing commercial nodes and integrating destinations in the community in the form of live/work space.

Practice 2 Contribute to the area’s jobs-housing balance. Strive for a job-housing balance with a three to five mile area around a development site.
The job-housing balance in the Lake Claire area is improved by this project by creating live/work uses in an area that would otherwise consist of and be surrounded by single-family residential housing. Further the project is within 5 miles of the Atlanta Central Business District and three miles of the Decatur Central Business District.

Practice 3 Mix land uses at the finest grain the market will bear and include civic uses in the mix.
Land use is mixed to the finest grain of housing above work space, and civic use is included as park space.

Practice 4 Develop in clusters and keep the clusters small. This will result in more open space preservation.
This development preserves open space by clustering development.

Practice 5 Place higher-density housing near commercial centers, transit lines and parks. This will enable more walking, biking and transit use.
Housing is focused into a dense center above live/work activities, adjacent to a transit corridor and connected by pedestrian paths to the surrounding neighborhood.

Practice 6 Phase convenience shopping and recreational opportunities to keep pace with housing. These are valued amenities and translate into less external travel by residents if located conveniently to housing.
A park space and a pedestrian plaza are incorporated in this development.

Practice 7 Make subdivisions into neighborhoods with well-defined centers and edges. This is traditional development.
The single-family housing surrounding the live/work lofts create an edge and center in this neighborhood.

Practice 10 Make shopping centers and business parks into all-purpose activity centers. Suburban shopping centers and their environs could be improved by mixing uses and designing them with the pedestrian amenities of downtowns.
The live/work uses integrated into this development face a pedestrian friendly streetscape.

Practice 11 Tame auto-oriented land uses, or at least separate them from pedestrian-oriented uses. Relegate “big box” stores to areas where they will do the least harm to the community fabric.
Many of the housing units utilize rear lot automobile access, which separates the automobile use from the pedestrian space and reduces curb cuts.

Best Transportation Practices

Practice 1 Design the street network with multiple connections and relatively direct routes.
The previous development had two dead end entrances, and this development connects those entrances. A connection limited to pedestrian uses is provided through the sensitive portion of the site.

Practice 2 Space through-streets no more than a half mile apart, or the equivalent route density in a curvilinear network.
A network of closely spaced streets and alleys has been established to allow separated auto and pedestrian access to the clustered housing. This development has multiple connections to major collector roads.

Practice 3 Use traffic-calming measures liberally. Use short streets, sharp curves, center islands, traffic circles, textured pavements, speed bumps and raised crosswalks.
Practice 4 Keep speeds on local streets down to 20 mph.
Narrow short streets, pedestrian connections, center islands and on-street parking encourage slow traffic speeds.

Practice 9 Provide networks for pedestrians and bicyclists as good as the network for motorists.
Practice 10 Provide pedestrians and bicyclists with shortcuts and alternatives to travel along high-volume streets.
Pedestrian connections through the greenspace are better than the auto access and allow connections to adjacent residential areas. Convenient bicycle routes connect to the Atlanta-Stone Mountain bicycle path.


Best Environmental Practices

Practice 2 Channel development into areas that are already disturbed.
The majority of the site had been disturbed by a 90 unit obsolete apartment complex. Buildings in the previous development were subject to flooding. These areas were returned to natural conditions.

Practice 3 Preserve patches of high-quality habitat, as large and circular as possible, feathered at the edges and connected by wildlife corridors. Stream corridors offer great potential.
The woodland habitat is preserved by a conservation easement with riparian wildlife corridors extending along the drainages.

Practice 4 Design around significant wetlands.
Upland springs were protected and vegetation reestablished. A new spring discovered during construction (with the return of normal rain fall) has been protected with a design that creates an upland bog.

Practice 5 Establish upland buffers around all retained wetlands and natural water bodies.
Detention ponds were designed with water quality Best Management Practices and replanted with trees to extend the forest cover of the riparian areas.

Practice 6 Preserve significant uplands, too.
This project preserves 2.5 acres that includes a stream and adjoining mature woodland. New development is shifted away from this area towards existing housing. Formal greenspace integrated into the new development is also designed to be visually connected to the preservation area.

Practice 7: Restore and enhance ecological functions damaged by prior site activities.
The adjacent stream bank will be stabilized and returned to a natural condition, after the removal of exotic invasive species.

Practice 8: Detain runoff with open, natural drainage systems. The more natural the system the more valuable it will be for wildlife and water quality.
Open swales were utilized wherever possible on this steep site. Eroded swales were replanted with matting and grasses and check dams were installed to improve stability and water quality. Storm water run-off from off of the site is routed through the detention pond for additional water quality benefit.

Practice 9: Design man-made lakes and stormwater ponds for maximum environmental value. Recreation, stormwater management, wildlife habitat and others.
Two detention ponds separate the runoff from impervious surfaces in the developed area from the preserved green space in order to maintain water quality in the adjacent stream. One of these detention ponds will be integrated into the pedestrian path network as a natural pond feature.


Best Housing Practices

Practice 1 Offer “life cycle” housing. Providing integrated housing for every part of the “life cycle”.
The range of housing types in this development can accommodate every part of the “life cycle”, from young singles in lofts and garage apartments, to starter families in small single family or town homes, though retirees in loft units or basement apartments.

Practice 2 Achieve an average net residential density of six to seven units per acre without the appearance of crowding. Cluster housing to achieve open space.
This development achieves a gross density of 7 units per acre, and a net density of 8.7 units per acre, while giving the appearance of a historic single-family neighborhood and preserving a 2.65 acre woodland and stream area.

Practice 3: Use cost-effective site development and construction practices. Small frontages and setbacks; rolled curbs or no curbs; shared driveways.
Many of the lots in this development utilize shared drives and rear alleys to reduce impervious cover. By clustering units on the site the cost of infrastructure and utilities is reduced.

Practice 4: Design of energy-saving features. Natural shading and solar access.
All of the single-family homes in this development have been built to the Earth Craft standard of construction.

Practice 5 Supply affordable single-family homes for moderate-income households.
Housing square footage and lot sizes of the singe family housing and attached units vary to create smaller affordable units for moderate-income households.

Practice 6 Supply affordable multi-family and accessory housing for low-income households.
In addition to the multi-family housing many of the single family detached units include garage and basement rental units to accommodate low-income housing needs.

Practice 8 Mix housing to the extent the market will bear.
Housing types are mixed to range from multifamily lofts up to city homes on small lots. Sales have been brisk thanks to the variety of options available.


Please describe the zoning and/or development process for the development.

Multiple neighborhood interactions were involved in the rezoning process of the preserved single-family lots. The administrative procedure was difficult. The developers desire to preserve land was stymied by an inflexible zoning and development code. Once models were complete, the single family homes were sold out in 6 months, which is 4 times the usual rate of sale found in the area.