Title:
Residential land development with clustered lots
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A residential land development that includes a contiguous area of land, a main road extending into the contiguous area and at least two extension roads accessible from the main road within the contiguous area. A prairie landscaping area is provided within the contiguous area and includes grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches. Habitable buildings are excluded from the prairie landscaping area. A plurality of individual lots are positioned to form a plurality of clusters. Each of the lots are suitable for building a single family dwelling thereon and are accessible from one of the extension roads. Each of the clusters includes a plurality of individual lots positioned in proximity to each other and is spaced from the other clusters by a portion of the prairie landscaping area.



Inventors:
Hersha, Richard L. (Fort Wayne, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/545315
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
10/10/2006
Assignee:
Chris Stauffer Homes, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
George Pappas (Suite 300 919 S. Harrison Street, Fort Wayne, IN, 46805, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A residential land development comprising: a contiguous area of land; a main road extending into said contiguous area; at least two extension roads accessible from said main road within said contiguous area; a prairie landscaping area disposed within said contiguous area, said prairie landscaping area including land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches, habitable buildings being excluded from said prairie landscaping area; and a plurality of individual lots suitable for building a single family dwelling thereon, each of said individual lots being accessible from a respective one of said at least two extension roads, said plurality of individual lots forming a plurality of clusters, each of said clusters including a plurality of individual lots positioned in proximity to one another and each of said clusters being spaced from the other of said clusters by a portion of said prairie landscaping area.

2. The residential land development of claim 1 wherein said prairie landscaping area comprises at least about 15% of said contiguous area of land.

3. The residential land development of claim 1 wherein said prairie landscaping area comprises at least about 30% of said contiguous area of land.

4. The residential land development of claim 1 wherein said prairie landscaping area comprises at least about 50% of said contiguous area of land.

5. The residential land development of claim 1 wherein a plurality of single family dwellings are disposed on respective ones of said individual lots and wherein each of said individual lots includes a manicured lawn area proximate a respective one of said single family dwellings and a naturalistic area separating said manicured lawn area from a respective one of said extension roads wherein said naturalistic area includes land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches.

6. The residential land development of claim 5 wherein each of said individual lots has a boundary line and an outer perimeter of said manicured lawn area of each respective said individual lot is spaced inwardly from said boundary line along at least two sides of said individual lot.

7. The residential land development of claim 6 wherein said naturalistic area of each of said individual lots comprises at least about 20% of each respective one of said individual lots.

8. The residential land development of claim 6 wherein said naturalistic area of each of said individual lots comprises at least about 40% of each respective one of said individual lots.

9. The residential land development of claim 6 wherein said naturalistic area of each of said individual lots comprises at least about 60% of each respective one of said individual lots.

10. The residential development of claim 6 wherein said naturalistic area of each of said individual lots comprises at least about 80% of each respective one of said individual lots.

11. The residential land development of claim 6 wherein at least two of said individual lots are positioned adjacent to one another to form a common boundary line and wherein said at least two adjacent lots are planted with a plurality of woody plants having a height of least about 5 feet, said woody plants forming an irregularly positioned grouping with respect to said common boundary line and which extends over both of said at least two adjacent lots on both sides of said common boundary line.

12. The residential land development of claim 1 wherein said prairie landscaping area is defined by a plurality of landscaping features disposed in series outwardly from said extension roads, said landscaping features including a first section proximate a respective one of said extension roads comprising land planted with wildflowers, a second section positioned outwardly of said first section relative to said respective extension road, said second section comprising land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches and a third section positioned outwardly of said second section relative to said respective extension road, said third section comprising land planted with woody plants having a height of at least about 5 feet.

13. The residential land development of claim 12 further comprising a manicured drainage area disposed between said first section and said respective extension road.

14. A method of developing land, said method comprising: identifying a contiguous area of land for development; constructing a main road extending into the contiguous area; constructing at least two extension roads within the contiguous area, the extension roads being accessible from the main road; defining a prairie landscaping area within the contiguous area, the prairie landscaping area including land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches; preventing the construction of habitable buildings on the prairie landscaping area; subdividing the contiguous area into a plurality of individual lots suitable for building single family dwellings thereon, each of the individual lots being accessible from a respective one of the at least two extension roads, the individual lots forming a plurality of clusters, each of the clusters including a plurality of individual lots positioned in proximity to each other and each of the clusters being spaced from the other of the clusters by a portion of the prairie landscaping area.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising building a plurality of single family dwellings on respective ones of the individual lots wherein each of the individual lots includes a manicured lawn area proximate a respective one of the single family dwellings and a naturalistic area separating the manicured lawn area from a respective one of the extension roads wherein the naturalistic area includes land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein each of the individual lots has a boundary line and an outer perimeter of the manicured lawn area of each respective one of the individual lots is spaced inwardly from the boundary line along at least two sides of the individual lot.

17. The method of claim 15 wherein at least two of the individual lots are positioned adjacent to one another to form a common boundary line and wherein the at least two adjacent lots are planted with a plurality of woody plants having a height of least about 5 feet, the woody plants forming an irregularly positioned grouping with respect to the common boundary line and which extends over both of the at least two adjacent lots on both sides of the common boundary line.

18. The method of claim 14 wherein the prairie landscaping area is defined by a plurality of landscaping features, the landscaping features including a first section proximate the extension roads comprising land planted with wildflowers, a second section positioned outwardly of the first section relative to the extension road, the second section comprising land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches and a third section positioned outwardly of the second section relative to the extension road, the third section comprising land planted with woody plants having a height of at least about 5 feet.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of providing a manicured drainage area disposed between the first section and the extension road.

20. A residential land development comprising: a contiguous area of land; a plurality of roads extending through said contiguous area; a first and second clusters of lots, wherein each of said lots are suitable for building a single family dwelling thereon; wherein each of said lots of each of said first and second clusters are accessible from at least one of said roads; and, wherein said first and second clusters are separated from one another with a prairie landscaping area.

21. The residential land development of claim 20 wherein said lots in each of said first and second clusters are separated from said at least one of said roads with prairie landscape area, and wherein each lot includes a driveway extending from said at least one of said roads through said prairie landscape area to a single family dwelling area.

22. The residential land development of claim 21 wherein said prairie landscape areas include grasses having a height of at least 18 inches and habitable buildings are excluded therefrom.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to residential land developments and, more particularly, the positioning of the individual lots and surrounding landscaping of a residential land development.

2. Description of the Related Art

A wide variety of different types of residential land developments are known. The invention of the automobile spawned a diversity of relatively low density, non-agricultural residential land developments that had not previously been practical. One of the most famous of such new developments being the Levittown developments which have become an iconic example of the residential land developments resulting from the widespread ownership of automobiles in the United States following the Second World War.

In many such residential land developments the landscaping is very rigorously manicured and controlled. Many individuals, however, desire to live in a residential development that has a more naturalistic and/or agricultural surrounding. Such individuals may purchase homes in undeveloped areas and be later disappointed when the character of the land immediately surrounding their home is altered, e.g., by it being subdivided into individual building lots or otherwise undergoing a change of use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a residential land development that provides a plurality individual lots that are positioned in a plurality of clusters that are separated from each other by a prairie landscaping area to thereby provide single family dwellings located in a naturalistic setting.

The invention comprises, in one form thereof, a residential land development that includes a contiguous area of land, a main road extending into the contiguous area and at least two extension roads accessible from the main road within the contiguous area. A prairie landscaping area is disposed within the contiguous area wherein the prairie landscaping area includes land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches and wherein habitable buildings are excluded from the prairie landscaping area. A plurality of individual lots, each of the lots being suitable for building a single family dwelling thereon and being accessible from a respective one of the at least two extension roads, are positioned to form a plurality of clusters. Each of the clusters includes a plurality of individual lots positioned in proximity to each other. Each of the clusters is spaced from the other clusters by a portion of the prairie landscaping area and at least one of the clusters is positioned along each of the at least two extension roads.

The invention comprises, in another form thereof, a method of developing land that includes identifying a contiguous area of land for development, constructing a main road extending into the contiguous area and constructing at least two extension roads within the contiguous area wherein the extension roads are accessible from the main road. The method also includes defining a prairie landscaping area within the contiguous area wherein the prairie landscaping area includes land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches and preventing the construction of habitable buildings on the prairie landscaping area. The contiguous area is subdivided into a plurality of individual lots suitable for building single family dwellings thereon wherein each of the lots are accessible from a respective one of the at least two extension roads. The individual lots form a plurality of clusters wherein each of the clusters includes a plurality of individual lots positioned in proximity to each other. Each of the clusters is spaced from the other of the clusters by a portion of the prairie landscaping area and at least one of the clusters is positioned along each of the at least two extension roads.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a residential land development that provides a number of single family dwellings located in a naturalistic setting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above mentioned and other features of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a residential land development in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of two adjacent individual lots.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a portion of the residential land development including prairie landscaping features.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the exemplification set out herein illustrates an embodiment of the invention, in one form, the embodiment disclosed below is not intended to be exhaustive or to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention to the precise form disclosed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A residential land development 20 in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. Development 20 is located within a contiguous area of land 22 and is accessible from the surrounding area by a main road 24 that extends into contiguous area 22. Several extension roads 26a-26h are accessible from main road 24 within contiguous area 22.

Contiguous area 22 is subdivided into a plurality of individual lots 28. Individual lots 28 are all accessible from the main road 24 or one of the extension roads 26a-h. Lots 28 are designed to accommodate a single family dwelling and arranged in clusters 30a-30i. Each of the clusters 30a-30i include a plurality of individual lots 28 that are positioned in proximity to each other. In the illustrated embodiment, the individual lots 28 of each cluster 30a-i are positioned immediately adjacent the neighboring lot 28, however, a small sliver of land could be used to separate the individual lots 28 forming each cluster in alternative embodiments of the invention.

Cul-de-sacs, such as extension roads 26a, 26b, 26e, 26f and 26h, and ring roads, such as extension roads 26c and 26d, are well suited for positioning a cluster of lots 28 therealong. Although many of the extension roads have a single cluster that is located solely on that extension road, e.g., road 26b and cluster 30c, road 26c and cluster 30d, road 26f and cluster 30g and road 26h and cluster 30h, the clusters may take various other forms, e.g., cluster 30e which extends along portions of extension roads 26d and 26e as well as a portion of main road 24.

Each of the clusters 30a-i is spaced apart from the other clusters 30a-i by a prairie landscaping area 32. As best understood with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, prairie landscaping area 32 is defined by several landscaping features which extend in strips that are disposed in series outwardly from one of the roads 24, 26a-h within development 20. A generally similar roadway structure 25 is used to form the main road 24 and all of the extension roads 26a-h within development 20.

As shown in FIG. 3, immediately adjacent the roadway structure 25 is a manicured drainage area 34 or ditch. Moving outwardly, relative to roadway 25, from ditch 24 is the first section 36 of prairie landscaping 32. First section 36 advantageously includes a small elevational change relative to ditch 34 not only to help channel water into ditch 34 but to also visually demarcate the manicured area 34 from the beginning of the prairie landscaping area 32. First section 36 of prairie landscaping area 32 is a wildflower section and is planted predominately with low maintenance flowering plants 37 having a height of between about 6 inches and about 3 feet. Second section 38 is positioned outwardly of first section 36 relative to roadway 25 Second section 38 is a prairie grass section that is planted predominately with grasses 39 having a mature height of at least about 18 inches. Most of the grasses planted in second section 38 will have a mature height of between about 30 inches and about 48 inches in height. Although first and second sections 36, 38 are predominately planted with blooming plants and grasses respectively, first section 36 may include some plants, e.g., grasses, that are not blooming plants having a height between about 6 inches and 3 feet, and second section 38 may includes some plants, e.g., wildflowers, that are not grasses having a mature height of at least about 18 inches. The non-predominate plants included in first and second sections 36, 38 may also include a small number of widely dispersed trees and shrubs.

The prairie landscaping area 32 also includes a third section 40 positioned outwardly of second section 38 relative to roadway 25. Third section 40 is a wild hedgerow section and includes a number of woody plants 41 having a height of at least about 5 feet. Third section 40 also includes herbaceous plants such as grasses and wildflowers. “Woody plant” is a botanical term that refers to plants with stems and branches that persist through the winter and generally contain lignin. In contrast, herbaceous plants are non-woody plants wherein the plant dies back to the rootstock during the winter. Woody plants include trees and many shrubs while herbaceous plants include wildflowers and grasses. The plants in each of the different sections 26, 38 and 40 of the prairie landscaping area are preferably plants that require minimal or no maintenance.

No single family dwellings or other habitable dwellings are located in prairie landscaping area 32. Although not present in the illustrated embodiment, it may be desirable in some circumstances to allow existing structures to remain or construct new structures on prairie landscaping area 32 when such structures are non-habitable structures such as maintenance sheds or barns. Pre-existing natural landscape features, such as stream 42, may also be present in the prairie landscaping area 32. To preserve the character of prairie landscaping area 32, the title to land 32 could be held by a community association which has the residents of development 20 as its members. Various other legal restrictions could alternatively be used to prevent the building of habitable dwellings on landscaping area 32 and preserve its character.

Turning now to FIG. 2, two adjacent individual lots 28 are depicted. The limits of each of the lots 28 are defined by a boundary line 44 and the two individual lots 28 depicted in FIG. 2 include a common boundary line 46 for a portion of their respective boundary lines 44. Each of the lots 28 includes a single family dwelling 50 and a manicured lawn area 48. Lines 49 indicate the outer perimeter of manicured lawn area 48. The manicured lawn area 48 includes a conventional grass lawn that is mowed on regular basis and may also include flower beds, shrubs, trees and other similar plants and landscaping features. Driveways 51 provide access from roadway 25.

A naturalistic area 52 is positioned between and separates the manicured lawn area 48 from the roadway structure 25 providing access to the lot 28. Naturalistic areas 52 are generally similar to prairie landscaping area 32 but are located within the boundary line 44 of an individual lot 28. A manicured drainage area 34 is also provided immediately adjacent roadway structure 25 and between roadway structure 25 and naturalistic area 52. Naturalistic area 52 includes land planted with grasses having a height of at least about 18 inches but may also include other suitable plant materials. In the illustrated embodiment, naturalistic area 52 is divided into sections that are planted similar to first, second and third sections 36, 38, 40 of prairie landscaping area 32 described above. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the first, second and third sections 36, 38, 40 extend through lots 28 running generally parallel to the roadway structure 25 with a manicured lawn area 48 forming an elongate strip that extends parallel with sections 36, 38, 40 and divides second section 38 into two parts. As can also be seen in FIG. 2, the edges dividing first, second and third sections 36, 38, 40 and manicured lawn area 48 have an irregular character to enhance the naturalistic aesthetic of the landscaping.

Another aspect of the illustrated land development 20 is the use of landscaping to obscure the boundary lines 44 of the individual lots 28. The use of prairie landscaping area 32, naturalistic area 52 and the obscuring of boundary lines 44, singly and collectively, are intended to enhance the perception of residents in development 20 that their dwelling 50 is located in a natural environment. One manner in which the location of boundary lines 44 are obscured is by spacing outer perimeter 49 of manicured lawn area 48 inwardly from boundary line 44 with naturalistic area 52 being positioned between outer perimeter 49 and boundary line 44. In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 2, outer perimeter 49 is spaced inwardly from both the front and rear boundary lines 44 of the lots 28. The naturalistic area 52 can also be used to obscure the opposite sides of individual lots 28, including common boundary line 46 if desired.

Rather than using a naturalistic area 52 with grasses having a height of at least 18 inches, the illustrated embodiment obscures the side boundary lines 44 of individual lots, including common boundary line 46, by planting a plurality of woody plants 41 having a height of at least about 5 feet. The woody plants are planted so that they form an irregularly positioned grouping 54 with respect to common boundary line 46 and that extends over each of the two adjacent lots 28 on both sides of common boundary line 46. As used herein, the term irregularly positioned grouping means a grouping that is not arranged in a linear or symmetric geometric pattern. The continuation of first, second and third sections 36, 38, 40 from the prairie landscaping area 32 into the naturalistic area 52 of individual lots 28 also tends to obscure the precise location of side boundary lines 44 of individual lots 28 that have side boundary lines 44 which abut the prairie landscaping area 32.

As best seen in FIG. 1, contiguous area 22 includes a substantial area outside of individual lots 28. Turning to additionally to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be seen that the area within contiguous area 22 outside individual lots 28 is substantially entirely formed by roadway structures 25, manicured drainage areas 34 and prairie landscaping area 32. The extent of the prairie landscaping area 32 will depend upon the unique features of the contiguous land area 22 and may, for example, be at least about 15%, 30% or 50% of the contiguous land area 22. Similarly, the area of the naturalistic area 52 of the individual lots 28 may differ for different developments 20 or for different lots within a particular development. For example, the naturalistic area 52 of the lots 28 in a particular development may be required to be at least about 20%, 40%, 60% or 80% of each respective one of the individual lots 28.

These two percentages, of prairie landscaping area 32 and naturalistic area 52, can be adjusted to provide the desired level of non-manicured landscaping within the development 20. These two percentages can also be adjusted in a manner that does not significantly alter the combined non-manicured area provided by the prairie landscaping area 32 and the naturalistic areas 52. For example, a development that has a relatively high percentage of prairie landscaping area 32 and a low percentage of naturalistic areas 52 could have a combined area that is approximately the same as a development having a lower prairie landscaping area 32 and a higher percentage of naturalistic areas 52.

While this invention has been described as having an exemplary design, the present invention may be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles.