The cover story of Time’s July 14 issue is a 39-page special report, “The Smarter Home.” Naturally, I had to read it.
A Planning Checklist for Your Next Community
With 23,000 homes on 11,000 acres, Centennial in northeast Los Angeles County will be far bigger than any community where most builders will ever buy lots, let alone plan.
With 23,000 homes on 11,000 acres, Centennial in northeast Los Angeles County will be far bigger than any community where most builders will ever buy lots, let alone plan. But today, with more builders than ever developing small communities to control lots and land, there are lessons to be learned from this giant on-the-boards project.
The "strategies and guidelines for developing communities of the 21st century" come from Newport Beach, Calif.-based consultant John T. Martin, an industry development and marketing expert who is guiding Centennial’s development team. A joint venture of Pardee Homes, Lewis Investment Corp. and Standard Pacific Corp., Centennial Founders LLC expects to launch a 25-year build-out in 2006. For now, the job of planning each part of the massive master plan is the responsibility of Randy Jackson, president of The Planning Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. He and Martin provided the details of how each "strategy and guideline" is planned for in Centennial.
|An aerial view of Tejon Ranch with the Centennial land plan laid over it reveals small, intricately planned neighborhoods. For absorption, strategic planning and land optimization purposes, a mix and variety of homes for the entire range of buyers will be offered in several neighborhoods at a time.|
Market Knowledge and Strategy
|Several distinct "places" will serve as village focal points. Here, The Planning Center depicts of one of those village focal points, a town center complete with a range of commercial and residential uses.|
|Heavy black lines denote comfortable walking distances between small neighborhoods and a village center planned for the shore of a lake. Walkability is a key factor in Centennial's plan because it encourages informal social interaction.|
Weaving a Social Fabric
|Varying intensities of land use, from New Urbanist to rural, provide a framework for the vision of a diverse community balance between work and home life that is sensitive to the environment.|
A Compelling Vision