Spotlight on Community: Dorset Park

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Shelly Harrison Photography

Dorset Park is a small, thoughtfully designed community of 26 single-family homes on 5,000 square foot lots within Union Point, a 1,500 acre master-planned, mixed-use development. The challenge was to create a private sense of place for our homeowners and distinguish the neighborhood’s identity within Union Point. Expert land planning and siting, in combination with exceptional design, has resulted in a portfolio of homes that successfully address both.

The Stratford model’s open floor plan strategically frames a panoramic view of meadows and protected open space from the great room, dining area and kitchen, promoting a personal attachment to the natural surroundings. The positioning of the garage allowed for a private brick courtyard to the rear of the home. The front porch and stoop offer an inviting gathering place to socialize with friends and neighbors.

What truly sets the neighborhood apart is its private park, which affords its residents exclusive use of alternative outdoor living space. This 1/2 acre elliptical shaped pocket park was designed to “attach to” the front of the neighborhood so it would not interrupt the tranquility of the conservation land at the back of the homes. It is landscaped with a London Planetree which will reach a height of 100 feet thus providing a beautiful canopy of shade. A series of 30 October Glory maple trees were also chosen to offer a buffer along the street and provide brilliant, seasonal color during the fall. Flowering crab apple trees positioned at both ends of the park provide spring color and a walkway through the middle of the park connects the neighborhood to the larger community. Granite benches engraved with the Dorset Park logo invite neighbors to pause and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding them.

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A growing number of home buyers are seeking to purchase new homes in more walkable, community-oriented neighborhoods. They desire the ability to walk to shops, public transit, parks and connected community spaces. For these buyers, the focus has shifted from maintaining large homes on lots of acreage to purchasing sensibly-sized homes on smaller lots that offer more amenities just outside their doorstep. While these buyers may crave a more urban-type setting, they are seeking options for living beyond multi-story condominiums or apartment buildings. Instead, they want the features and privacy associated with traditional single-family homeownership, but with less home maintenance. With this in mind, we created a neighborhood of homes where buyers can enjoy the best of both worlds: the convenience of city amenities within a setting that provides an easy association with nature. The industry can take the principles that were used to design the Dorset Park neighborhood to create new housing developments in mixed-use settings to meet these buyer demands.

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