Sand Hill Farm – Fairfield Commons Comparison

Fairfield Garden Court SignAbout a year ago we completed Fairfield Garden Court in Plymouth, our fourth Garden Court project.   It was built in the Fairfield Farms development in Plymouth, just north of the hospital.  On a recent return visit I picked up a flyer for Fairfield Commons.  This is the next section of Fairfield Farms that is opening up across the street from Fairfield Garden Court.  I was intrigued by the size and mix of the units.

Fairfield Farms is a P.U.D. (Planned Unit Development).   It has a mix of single family homes, apartments and townhouses.  The latest addition, Fairfield Commons will be Villas and Duplexes marketed in a condominium format.  Without doing some research, I don’t know whether Fairfield Farms has included any commercial or retail uses unless the P.U.D. extends to include the MedPoint Facility on Hwy 17 across from the hospital.

Fairfield Farm VillaThe villas appear to be roughly 40′ x 40′ including a two car garage shown at 19’8″ x 19’4″.  That’s gives a footprint of approximately 1,200 sf with approximately 820 sf of living space.  These villas would require a variance under Culver’s Zoning Ordinance in the R-1 or R-2 Districts which requires a minimum of 951 sf of occupied space.

Fairfield Farm duplexThe duplex dimensions on the flyer are not legible, but it appears to be in the same size range.  Duplexes are only allowed in R-2 under Culver’s Zoning Ordinance and they must have a minimum of 635 sf of occupied space.

In an effort to create affordable housing, I would like to consider zero setback lots within the Sand Hill Farm P.U.D.  This would use the duplex or quadplex building style, but rather than have them as rentals or under some form of condominium organization, they would be on individual lots with the lot line running through the shared common wall.  This type of development promotes home ownership in a denser development format than is currently allowed.  This promotes more efficient use of utilities and road ways.  It provides an avenue for home ownership  for young families just starting out as well as an option for empty nesters looking to downsize.

Increased density is one of the tenets of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.  They promote increased density as a way to channel development into areas that can utilize existing infrastructure and thus preserve green space, habitats and natural resources.  This is an obvious divergence from most current zoning codes created in the past that promotes larger lot sizes and separation between structures.

I will post other examples that illustrate what I would like to do as I find them.

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