The Hancock Place, St. Johns Housing Partnership
St. Johns County
The St. Johns Housing Partnership has developed a 7 acre, affordable housing community in St. Johns County which incorporates Florida-friendly principles into all aspects of the development while still maintaining an average cost for a single family home at $135,000.
The Hancock Place incorporates low impact design elements such as roadside swales instead of curb and gutter. All of the yards are designed to exist on rainfall once established and homeowners are required to attend an introductory class on FYN before moving into their homes. The homeowner association’s by-laws require that the community be maintained as Florida-friendly and has required the creation of a Landscape Committee to provide oversight.
Lastly, the developer has chosen to create an ecologically enhanced stormwater detention pond that will include varied topography and a diversity of vegetation to provide habitat for birds and wildlife. The pond and swales will be monitored from students from Flagler College in cooperation with the St. Johns County Cooperative Extension Office and UF, Soil and Water Science Department.
The St. Johns Housing Partnership has enthusiastically adopted various low-impact development and energy saving innovations in an effort to not only preserve and protect our valuable natural resources but to also help residents save money.
Pelican Preserve, WCI Communities, Inc.
Pelican Preserve, a WCI community, is situated on just over 1,000 acres with more than 50% of it set aside for recreational and preserved areas including wetlands and natural wildlife corridors. The wetland preserve and boardwalk, which is located in the heart of the community, is not just a loop, but a pathway to get from one part of the community to the town square. Community representatives often lead potential new neighbors on tours along this boardwalk as part of their introduction to the community.
The community has made strong efforts to reduce water consumption in the landscape by installing a satellite controlled irrigation system and using stormwater primarily for irrigation. In response to recent water restrictions, Pelican Preserve has reduced the golf course irrigation by 30% and the average household water consumption for irrigation is typically very low at 650 – 714 gal/mo/household. The community participates in a voluntary water quality monitoring program which they began in Feb 2002 as part of their certification by Audubon International.
One of the most impressive characteristics of Pelican Preserve is the participation by both employees and the residents in making their community more Florida-friendly. Many WCI employees have attended FYN training and have led nature walks and bird watching tours. Residents have equally embraced their environment by creating and maintaining a butterfly garden with educational information provided to visitors.
Connerton is an innovative “New Town” community with large preserved areas and a traditional neighborhood design on nearly 7,000 acres. Developed by Terrabrook, the community will include a Town Center, a regional park, and a mixed-use Village Center in each of the four proposed Villages as well as wildlife corridors and pedestrian trail systems. In addition, the developer sold 2,900 acres to the Southwest Water Management District for a wildlife preserve that will serve as a public recreational use area. The community is pursuing Florida Green Building Coalition certification for all of its new homes.
Connerton’s cutting edge technology to control limited water resource usage and maximize utilization of recycled wastewater is just one of many ways the community is Florida-friendly. The community has an ET controller to manage the irrigation use in common areas and the community currently draws irrigation water from two ponds that are maintained with reclaimed water. During heavy rain periods, the ponds will receive surplus reclaimed water from Pasco County Utilities, providing an important storage facility. To reduce stormwater runoff, Connerton includes brick pavers and pervious concrete along pedestrian paths, driveways, sidewalks and parking areas.
Connerton provides every new homeowner with an educational packet including information on Florida-friendly landscaping, stormwater and recycling. Every homeowner also signs a pledge to help protect nature and wildlife within their community.