BEST PRACTICES TOOL NAME: Master Planned CommunitiesPurpose of Tool:
Master planned communities, sometimes called “cities within cities”, are developments similar to subdivisions but are much larger in scale. They normally cover a sizeable area of land and include a variety of housing options, amenities, schools, recreational facilities, and extensive retail and commercial establishments. The first master planned community, Sea Pines Plantation, was built in the 1950s, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Most of these communities have a wide range of housing choices offered by multiple builders, which provides greater choice in type, floor plans, pricing, and lot sizes. Unlike subdivisions, the businesses in a master planned community are a part of the developer’s original plan and are built with the hope that as housing is developed, business will follow. A master planned community typically has its own defined community character with many of the details, such as architectural styles, building materials and common areas standardized throughout the development. Various community features can be incorporated by the developer, allowing for creative and imaginative community design.
Benefits of Using Tool:
Recently, there has been an increase in the attractiveness of master planned communities that offer amenities within walking distance of their homes and places of employment. Other benefits include:
Steps Involved to Use Tool:
A master planned development is typically implemented through the following process:
Special Requirements to Use Tool:
In order for a master planned community to be implemented by a developer, it is necessary for the local jurisdiction to have an ordinance stating the specific standards that will be placed on development. This will insure that it will meet the goals of the jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan, if applicable. As the governing jurisdiction sees fit, the ordinance should address elements such as:
It is also necessary that the governing jurisdiction have in place an application submittal and review process.
Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
This tool is best suited for communities or agencies that have an adequate planning staff, due to the review process required for approval of site plans for proposed master planned communities.
Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
There are many master planned communities throughout the United States. The examples listed below have been extremely successful.
The Woodlands VP of Operations and Public Safety
10001 Woodloch Forest Dr, Ste. 900
The Woodlands, Texas, 77380
Celebration Community Development District
610 Sycamore Street, Suite 130130
Celebration, Florida, 34747
Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
Through the comprehensive planning process (if applicable), it can be determined if master planned communities meet a region’s goals and objectives.
List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info: