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Perfect community plan

Kelowna’s population is one of the fastest growing in the country, for reasons current residents understand well.

As local real estate developers work to provide the housing to meet this demand, one of Kelowna’s most experienced residential developers weighs in on just what it takes to design a well-planned community.

Dave Lange is the land manager responsible for the planning and design of several prestigious communities in Kelowna’s Upper Mission, including Fawn Run at the Ponds, The Creeks in Upper Mission, Trestle Ridge, and The Quarry.

In an effort to shed some light on the specific elements a developer has to consider to design a well-planned, connected community, Lange shared some of the creative thinking behind the most recent phase in Fawn Run at the Ponds.

“Luckily, we have some of the most amazing property to work with as our starting canvas,” Lange says.

While the amazing lake views and hillside setting are themselves a great selling feature Lange has learned through years of experience that it is the detailed layout and knowledge of the market that makes for a truly successful neighbourhood.

“We had extreme interest in our first phase of Fawn Run from buyers wanting flat lots,” Lange says. “So the site grading profiles were engineered in the next phases to offer as many flat building sites as possible.”

Lange says the appeal of this style of lot is well-suited to such a family-centric community. Families want to be able to walk out to the back yard pool while entertaining guests, or keep an eye on their kids in the backyard while preparing dinner.

“It also doesn’t hurt that those back yards offer the most spectacular sunset lake views in the city,” Lange says.

But neighbourhood design goes beyond lot style, it also includes how to cluster lots together, how big the lots are, and how the overall community integrates with the surrounding environment.

In the Fawn Run community, the lots are designed to integrate with nature, with nearly every lot backing onto dedicated green space, and intermixed with paved urban walkways and nature trails.

The upcoming phases are geared to maximize privacy by creating clusters of housing among three separate cul-de-sacs, but also encourage a strong sense of community with the connected pathways and nearby amenity spaces, where neighbours can be social while engaging in a common active lifestyle.

The lots are “oversized” by most development standards, to provide homeowners a coveted third garage bay to store recreational gear or vehicles, and backyards are generous with room for a pool and additional play or garden areas.

And while Fawn Run utilizes building guidelines to provide for consistency in the quality of the neighbourhood, lot owners are free to select their own builder without choosing from a restricted list.

“We’ve thought about all the details to make Fawn Run the perfect location and context for families, so they can focus on the fun details of designing their custom home knowing that the neighbourhood is exactly what they’ve been looking for to build their forever home,” Lange says.

Based on the record real estate appraisal increases in the Upper Mission, it is clear that these well-designed communities hold their value based on the design principles Lange and his team employ.

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