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Developing a Successful and Sustainable Master-Planned Community

Posted by Steve Cameron, Guest Columnist

Jul 15, 2019 11:36:40 AM

Homebuyers not only want community, they want healthy lifestyles, they want to stay in touch with nature, and they want a comfortable—and energy-saving—home.

Enter Terramor, a sustainable master-planned community that will not only provide open space and access to nature, but also contribute to saving water and energy.

Terramor_The Veranda_EricFiggePhotosTerramor offers new home options in neighborhoods for both all-age and 55+ buyers. Located in a prime location just south of Corona in Riverside County, California, the 961-acre property is approved for 1,443 single-family homes and will be developed in three phases. Del Webb, KB Home, Lennar, and Van Daele Homes are building the first six neighborhoods at Terramor as part of phase one, which is actively selling.

The new community provides proven examples of how sustainable features can be incorporated into master-plan design and development. Here are some of them:

Maintain existing nature

Terramor is designed to maintain the natural landscape and resources. Native and drought-tolerant landscaping is irrigated with reclaimed water, and the existing riparian habitats, along with 540 acres of open space, are being preserved. As part of the site development, we planted Zinfandel grapes on one of the existing slopes and a milkweed garden on another to provide a haven for migrating Monarch butterflies. During development we also relocated and replanted endangered large old oak trees from a nearby gravel mining operation and from another area of the site that would have otherwise been removed and destroyed. They will thrive in our community, thanks to the similar microclimate.

Offer low-water, drought-resistant landscaping

We developed guidelines to eliminate turf in all parkways and front yards. Builders will also be held to these standards for their neighborhoods. The only turf in Terramor will be found in active usable park areas and residential backyards. Permeable pavers are being used in key locations, while an eight-foot decomposed granite paseo runs adjacent to the main street, not only saving water, but also offering a unique look that matches the community’s aesthetics.

Provide outdoor spaces

1736-04_Front_Terramor_InfoCenter_CDC_EricFiggePhotosAccording to a study published in the Journal of Aging Health, people age 70 or older who spend time outdoors every day report fewer sleep problems and aches and pains than those who stay indoors. Terramor will be interlaced with more than five miles of trails and paseos that connect to an even broader trail system, providing walking and hiking opportunities for active adults and families of all ages. Residents can get close to nature with the Vista Trail, which winds through a preserved riparian area that works its way up to the nearby hills, with informative signs on the local wildlife and spectacular views of the Santa Ana Mountains. The community’s location and proximity to miles of hiking and walking trails coupled with outdoor amenities will help residents stay connected with nature. The trails will offer spectacular landscapes and picturesque views while providing the convenience of shaded rest areas, water access, and restrooms. Numerous other parks and outdoor amenities, including large and small dog parks, community garden, ball fields, a basketball court, tennis courts and tot lots, will provide year-round recreation for all residents.

Encourage gardening

Residents who like to garden will have access to the thriving Terramor Community Garden. In the garden, operated by the HOA, homeowners can get their hands dirty and grow anything from savory herbs to tomatoes or lettuce and be able to enjoy freshly grown produce right in their own community.

Install energy-efficient lighting  

To help curtail light pollution and protect the night skies, Dark Sky lighting will be implemented throughout the community. Street lights will be pointed downward and shielded, low-level LED lighting will be used on trails and in landscaping, and Amber light at night will be applied wherever possible.

Terramor’s name combines the words for land and love. The spirit of these words has helped guide us to adhere to, follow, and deploy sustainable practices throughout the community for current and future residents to enjoy.

Steve Cameron headshotSteve Cameron, president and founder of Foremost Companies, has more than 25 years of experience in California real estate development and has been closely involved in every aspect of the residential real estate industry from financing and acquisition to the sales and marketing of new homes. Since 2007, Foremost has owned or managed over 12,000 single-family lots in Southern California with a retail value in excess of $1.4 billion. To date, over 6,000 of these lots have been sold to public and private homebuilders and investors.

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