Nov 6 2007
By: local_yokel  shortURL

So often, development plays a negative part in our lives, in our news, and in our discussions. I would like to start a discussion of what good and desirable development can look like. I love a good "green" development, but there are many ways of judging that: green space preservation, placement within the community with respect to infrastructure, green or recycled material use, and well, you should feel free to name what you think of as "green." There probably isn't any one development that will be consistently green in every regard.

So, what do you like to see in a development?

Please name a development you particularly appreciate and tell us why.

I'll start. How about "Little Mountain"? A total of 100 acres was saved, mostly in one lump, as a natural common area. No bulldozing the whole forest down here. The lots tend to be a little smaller to accommodate the preserve. The original farmhouse was saved as a guesthouse for the community. The negative is the steepness of the slopes in some places and they get pretty close to the top of the ridge with the houses, which is overall not a great thing. But I love the catchy "100 acre woods" phrase; makes me think Winnie-the-Pooh everytime. I can't think of the developer's name, but he deserves some kudos.

Your turn.

Hadn't heard of Little

Hadn't heard of Little Mountain. Found their website, looks pretty nice, except maybe a little remote.


Along those lines, we were talking last night and wondering if there isn't an opportunity for some area homebuilders to "go green."

With the slump, this might be a good niche market for mid to upscale buyers for the right builder who incorporates energy efficient design, solar, etc.

Thanks for the link

It is actually in the Old Piney area, off Montvale or Blockhouse Roads.

Green Design

All roof area should be normal to the South. Lean-to looking, no Northern slope. At a Trade Show, I attended this year, the predictions are that Photo-Voltaics should be cheaper than coal by 2010. Evergreens planted on the Northern side of the house (year-round leaves keep Northern winds abated), and deciduous on the Southern side (leaves gone in winter allowing sunlight and Southern winds through). Greenhouses INSIDE the house. Kitchens situated to have sunlight all day long. Bedroom(s) on the Southwest side of the house. Geo-thermal Heat Pumps-pricey.

good thread!! :)

viva Evo Morales

The City of Alcoa.The

The City of Alcoa.

The information I provide here is from the compilation of information regarding the City of Alcoa for its 75yh anniversary.

I feel this is a good example of a green community.
The City of Alcoa was the first planned community in the State of Tennessee. The city was chartered in 1919.

The original plan called for:

  • "an area of five and a half square miles with an anticipated population of 10,000 persons"
  • "one acre of park space per one hundred city inhabitants"
  • "between 1918 and 1924 approximately three hundred shad trees were planted along city streets and in the parks"

I don't know that the city ever reached 10,000 persons. Currently the population is around 8,500. The area is surely larger than 5 1/2 square miles.

Take a look at some of these original communities, Springbrook, Hall, and Bassell.

The City of Alcoa originated as a "company town" and, luckily, the company did a good job.

urban development

That's a good point, good development doesn't just mean rural areas - it has to include urban areas as well. I personally would love to see a more "walkable" urban environment. We talk a lot about reducing dependence on automobiles/gasoline/foreign oil - but we keep putting subdivisions farther and farther out in the countryside so that people are forced to drive everywhere they go. There are a lot of people who would like very much to live in a nice downtown area, where you could walk to the library, walk to a restaurant for dinner, walk to a coffee shop or a bookstore, walk to the farmer's market, or in a perfect world, walk to a neighborhood bakery for fresh bread and pastries :-)

The condos downtown were an interesting idea, but not affordable for most people. I'd like to see some decent yet affordable downtown housing. As an empty-nester, I'd jump at the chance to live in an environment like that.


Just ran across an interesting link:

The Executive Summary gives an interesting projection of future housing needs...

You might want to consider

You might want to consider keeping an eye on the neighborhood around Maryville High School. It is almost as you describe. Maybe a block or so out of the way. Then, of course, you may have to fight to keep the house since the City of Maryville is apparently not all that fond of the neighborhood.

Also, the neighborhood between Hall Road and Midland Shopping Center. It appears to be up and coming. Quite convenient to downtown Maryville, library, grocers, etc.

Looking toward the future


It also makes me wonder about future development - whether it we could, as a community, encourage development (or would it be re-development) of some of the older properties or vacant lots or blighted areas around town *as an alternative* to development out in the county. There would be fewer infrastructure issues, since the roads and utilities are already there, reducing the cost of providing services - plus we'd be doing our patriotic duty by reducing our dependence on the almighty oil well. Wouldn't this be a good thing? What incentive could be used?


Well, we could charge developers developing within the city (or designated places within the county) a lower impact/developer fee than we do those out in the county, since the infrastructure already exists. Oh wait, we don't CHARGE an impact fee.

My bad.

been tried

That has been proposed and was nit-picked on the zoning regulation changes that would have created alot of what the raven's society group have been preaching about. But when it came down to being done they changed thier preaching because one developer asked for the changes. Build up and not outward and create open space was part of this complex that is on city sewer and in the city's UGB. so to answer your questions, it has been tried and turned down since too many spins were said. They didn't even see the proposals and the structures and who would be buying them. It was going to be alil bit nicer then Camelia Trace apartments.


I believe the Blount County planning commission is looking into adding some green space regulations to the subdivision regulations. I don't have the details but I remember seeing an article about it recently. Green space regulations (I remember the article saying voluntary regulations need to become real regulations) along with design standards for our scenic roads (US 321 in particular) are two of the more pressing issues that I see.

We built our house 10 years ago and we looked seriously into solar and other green methods. Would have added too many costs at that time, but we did orient our house like beyondleft suggested.

To answer your question, I would like to see subdivisions add walking trails (even if a quarter of a mile), ponds with various trees, homes set away from the road and larger lots, and a common beer garden.

there are several

that have been approved and have used some of the ideas into what the planning commission is going to do. wesley kerr has a real nice one going on. Sorta like the arnold palmer and nancy lopez golf retirement community minus the golf.

And then there was LIGHT!

I'd like to share our 'success' story. Moved into a 25yr old home 3 yrs. ago and detested the fact that from the minute we awoke to the time we retired for the night the light bulbs were burning bright in our family room area (no windows)just to have light. We installed 2 solatubes in the room and had to then install 2 dimmers because in the middle of the day - LIGHT - too much light. We have a room that gets all the light we need until evening and uses nothing but the sun. They are pricey, but for anyone that is building and is looking for ways to go 'green' - they are excellent.

Here's a link to their web site if you want to find out more:


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