Connecting a Community at Estates at Patapsco Park
Tackling a large-scale single family residential development can be a lengthy and challenging road, but for the developers who can successfully overcome obstacles and maximize buildable lots, it pays off.
Vying for county approval to build 195 lots, developers hoped to get the Estates at Patapsco Park off the ground quickly. Facing topographic and environmental challenges, they first built a strong team of consultants who could keep up with aggressive deadlines and identify cost- and space-saving opportunities.
Meeting Aggressive Deadlines
Subject to county building limitations to curb overcrowding, the developer applied for the desired number of allocations. Once received, the design team faced an extremely aggressive deadline for approval. Bohler worked quickly to keep the project moving forward by:
Assembling a large internal team, allowing Bohler the horsepower to put all available resources on the project;
Submitting plans to multiple agencies concurrently, rather than a traditional linear approach; and
Assisting with the design and permitting of an upgraded pump station, speeding up the approval process.
Redesigning Stormwater Management
The original stormwater management plan used a conventional approach featuring above ground systems in either the front or back yards of each lot. Recognizing that this limited residents’ ability to enjoy their private yards, Bohler identified an opportunity to redesign the stormwater management systems underground. The design change resulted in 12 additional lots and more green space throughout the community.
Upgrading Existing Utilities
Existing utilities required an upgrade to handle the incoming homes, and while collaborating with a consultant to retrofit a pump station, Bohler identified an opportunity to speed up the process. As part of the design, the improved utility system needed to cross a stream, and would typically be subject to a lengthy environmental permitting process. Bohler’s early involvement in the design helped to expedite approvals.
Overcoming Steep Topography
With a significant grade change, deep ravines, and streams on two sides, site layout was challenging. Bohler’s early earthwork analysis enabled the team to design the site as level as possible while minimizing earthwork costs by limiting the import and export of soils.
Connecting the Community
Fulfilling both the developer’s goals and county requirements, Bohler designed a network of paths through the surrounding woods that included a connection to a neighboring elementary school. To create the convenient walkway, Bohler:
Collaborated with the public school system;
Collaborated with the Recreation and Parks Department to minimize disturbance to the environment;
Assisted with the design of a pedestrian bridge over an existing floodplain; and
Helped to identify a type of bridge that would break away if a flood were to occur to avoid restricting water flow.
Strategizing Project Phasing
For any sizable residential project, proper phasing is critical. Bohler’s strategic phasing plan provided the following benefits to both the developer and homebuilder:
Ensured model homes were completed first, in highly visible locations
Minimized earthwork costs by looking at the big picture – extra soil was stockpiled for future use in other areas of the site throughout each phase, rather than excessively importing and exporting
Strategic bond release – as each phase was completed, the county released portions of the bond, rather than waiting until the entire project was complete
Adhered to regulations limiting how much land could be disturbed for construction at one time
Accelerating Growth Potential
Nearly built out in less than three years, the Estates at Patapsco Park offers desirable home sites within a walkable community – an opportunity created by Bohler’s space-saving stormwater management solutions and ability to grade the site. Keeping the project moving forward by expediting approvals, Bohler also implemented strategic phasing plans that achieved the homebuilder’s speed-to-market goals, provided earthwork cost-savings, and enabled early release of bonds.
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