Developing Luxury Living on Rural Farmland
On rolling farmland with a meandering stream, Toll Brothers sought to develop a luxury single-family community. They purchased a 58-acre property, except for a small parcel in the middle, on which the previous owner’s farmhouse stood. Envisioning a cohesive neighborhood with a peaceful, rural atmosphere, the award-winning homebuilder needed a team to design creatively around the original farmhouse and navigate the site’s environmental challenges.
To help Toll Brothers accomplish its goals for the Reserve at Salford, Bohler developed a comprehensive plan that creatively laid out the site around the existing home, realigned existing roads, navigated wetlands, and restored woodlands – all while identifying opportunities to save on Toll Brothers’ development costs.
Designing Around the Farmhouse
Driving the team’s master plan for the site, the original owner’s farmhouse presented a unique challenge during design. Armed with creative solutions, Bohler worked with the Lower Salford Township to realign the main road through the property, ultimately leading it away from the farmhouse and providing the space needed for an effective grading plan.
Reducing Costs With Cluster Development
Looking at the big picture and evaluating the entirety of the site, Bohler worked with the project team to identify a cost-saving opportunity for Toll Brothers to maximize its return on investment.
Using the design and zoning strategy of “cluster development,” homes were grouped in one area of the development, leaving a large expanse of natural land untouched. This significantly reduced costs due to the smaller construction area, while yielding only a minimal reduction in buildable lots and preserving open space that maintained the property’s rural feel.
Navigating Stream Crossings
As an additional benefit, the cluster development design tactic also located the residential lots away from wetlands. Roadways and various utilities, however, still needed to cross the stream.
Bohler navigated a complex permitting process with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to run utilities beneath the stream, allow stormwater to flow to the wetlands, and establish temporary and permanent stream crossings for vehicles.
To protect the stream bank, Bohler planted nearly 800 trees along the stream, providing approximately 100 feet of woodland restoration.
Living in Rural Luxury
Using out-of-the-box design and permitting strategies, Bohler helped Toll Brothers realize its vision of a luxury, rural residential community while maximizing its return on investment. From realigning the roadways to allow for smoother grading to implementing cluster development to leverage design and zoning benefits, the team continued to move the project forward while trimming Toll Brothers’ bottom line.
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