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Subdivision Design. Converting Raw Land into Saleable Lots and Desirable Communities. Today’s Agenda. What is a subdivision? Regulatory requirements Qualitative standards Subdivision layout process Design concepts Case study example. What is a subdivision?.

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subdivision design

Subdivision Design

Converting Raw Land into Saleable Lots and Desirable Communities

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • What is a subdivision?
    • Regulatory requirements
    • Qualitative standards
  • Subdivision layout process
  • Design concepts
  • Case study example
what is a subdivision
What is a subdivision?
  • Conversion of a land parcel from its natural or previous state to:
  • Legal entity, where lot ownership can be transferred
  • Profit venture, where development costs can be recouped through lot sales
  • Urban place, where neighborhood roots can be developed
each lot must have
Each Lot Must Have:
  • Minimum size (sq. ft.)
  • Minimum road frontage
  • Provision for utilities
    • Water/sewer or well/septic
    • Electricity, phone, gas, cable, etc.
  • Buildable area/feasible structure location
    • Meeting setbacks, buffers
    • Respecting constraints (slopes, soils, wetlands)
subdivision approval process
Subdivision Approval Process
  • Sketch plan review
    • Feedback on type (major/minor), regulatory fit
  • Preliminary plat review
    • Checks on roads, utilities, lots, etc.
  • Final plat submission
    • Install improvements or post bond
    • Recorded in land and tax records
what is a good subdivision
What is a Good Subdivision
  • Creates desirable social patterns
  • Respects natural environment
  • Provides efficient utility services
  • Ensures accessibility (car, bike, pedestrian)
  • Builds safe roads
  • Minimizes cut and fill
  • Seeks pleasant aesthetics
elements of success 3 scales
Elements of Success: 3 Scales
  • Housing cluster or block
    • Access, parking, yards
  • Neighborhood
    • Road systems
    • Open space network
  • Community
    • Connectivity
    • Activity centers
building a sense of place
Building a Sense of Place
  • Theme or big idea (e.g., walkable neighborhood)
  • Amenity location (e.g., central park, pool)
  • Unique landscape (e.g., native plants, oaks)
  • Architectural style (e.g., neotraditional)
  • Site graphics (e.g., entry sign, st. signs)
subdivision layout process
Regulations (density, lot size, open space, utilities, etc.)

Average/minimum lot sizes

Site analysis

Road access

Internal roads (topo, block layouts)

Lot layout (rectangles, short side to st., build. area, n/s orientation, no double frontage)

Open space, amenities

Paths, sidewalks

Utilities/storm water

Vegetation & slopes

Refine alternatives

Subdivision Layout Process
open space subdiv design 1
Open Space Subdiv. Design-1
  • Identify open space areas
    • Primary conservation: wetlands, floodplains, steep slopes
    • Secondary conservation: sensitive, scenic, unique uplands
  • Locate house sites
    • Maximum view lots, abut open space, min. lot width
open space subdiv design 2
Open Space Subdiv. Design-2
  • Design road & trail alignments
    • Level or rolling areas
    • Avoid wetlands, habitats
    • Minimize road length, cost, dead ends, long straight streets
  • Draw in lot lines
    • Use off center, up front houses for larger side & back yards
subdivision street concepts
Subdivision Street Concepts
  • Curvilinear: naturalistic, organic
    • Source: Frederick Law Olmsted
    • Auto oriented street standards
    • Examples: Treyburn, Gov. Club, The Oaks
  • Neo-traditional: geometric, grids, diagonals
    • Source: Andres Duany, Peter Calthorpe
    • Pedestrian/transit/auto networks
    • Examples: Seaside, Washington, South. Village
subdivision street concepts 2
Subdivision Street Concepts-2
  • Urban cluster: geometric, central courts
    • Source: Clarence Stein, Henry Wright
    • Separation of auto service lanes & pedestrian paths and open spaces
    • Example: Radburn, N.J.
basic housing layout concepts
Basic Housing Layout Concepts
  • Single family detached &/or attached
    • Block: face street, w/ alleys (5-10 du/ac)
    • Cluster: face st. or green, w/ alleys (4-6 du/ac)
    • Parking court: face court (10-12 du/ac)
    • Eyebrow: face island (3.5-6 du/ac)
  • Multi-family
    • Quadrangle: face court & parking (14-16 du ac)
    • Parking court: face parking (15-18 du/ac)
case study example
Case study example
  • Difficult hilly site
  • 1st layout disregarded drainage ways, slopes
  • 2nd layout left drainage ways open, followed natural contours with road