Land Use Planning and Design

Ideas are our stock in trade.  From single family homes on rural parcels, to multi-acre conservation projects, to mixed-use infill developments, we match the power of our imaginations with an understanding of the site to answer the question – what is a property’s highest and best use? Combining the accuracy of computer-generated information with the freedom of the pencil and paper, we are able to explore a wide range of design possibilities with our clients on the way to discovering the ideal approach to a design challenge.  Many factors enter into the equation – aesthetics, economics, client preferences, and the unique characteristics of a particular piece of land – what we bring to the table is the capacity to visualize, articulate and consider a variety of alternatives and, in collaboration with our clients, uncover the optimal design solution. Our services include:

Sustainability Renovations

For years we have been working with owners and agencies to renovate multi-family rental properties. The potential cost and energy savings are immense – through reduced water use, lower maintenance landscaping and more efficient lighting, to name a few. But the more significant benefits of our renovation work are to the clients and occupants of the developments, through the creation and enhancement of common areas in which community can flourish. Replacing wasteful and costly expanses of lawn with community gardens in elder-housing developments has grown increasingly popular, providing residents with healthful activity as well as fresh produce.

Lot Splits, Subdivisions and Mixed-Use Developments

Once land is subdivided it is hard to put it back together, so it’s important to get it right. Incorporating trails, open space and community areas into a development plan can maintain a property’s integrity and protect significant resources, even while adding value by making those resources available to future owners who will in turn become the property’s stewards.

Collaborative Conservation

The classic conservation model – that of a land trust or government agency purchasing a block of land for conservation as public open space or park – is changing. There’s simply not enough money lying around to acquire the significant properties that need protection, and property owners need, and deserve, some return on what for many has been a lifetime of investment. A new model is needed – one which we call “collaborative conservation”. Incorporating limited development with conservation initiatives can provide a “win-win”, with the conserved resources contributing value added to the developed parcels. Other, innovative conservation programs can also contribute financial resources to a collaborative conservation effort, including conservation easements, mitigation banking and habitat restoration projects.