If you’re not paying attention to what’s happening at Bundoran Farm, you should be. They are building, and blogging about, their Geobarn as they develop the Baldwin Center for Preservation Development.
* This is a test post – I’m trying out a few new things … the search module you see below as well as the video box to the top right … thoughts/feedback welcomed.
Update: RSS readers need to click through to see the video.
Update 2: Broken link fixed.
(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)
The link to GeoBarns is http://www.geobarns.com/
Jim, as you know, I’m typically not a fan of most developments. They tend to render previously attractive open spaces or natural areas as so many acres of sterile little boxes of “anywhere America”. I can honestly say that Bundoran Farm is leaving the land healthier than they found it, while also keeping land in agricultural use. I was initially very dubious of their claims, but it’s clear that in almost every way they’ve gone above and beyond the minimum requirements. Bundoran farm is one development that I feel our community can be proud to have in it’s backyard. After all, how many other developments can claim an increase in Bald Eagle population during the development process?
For people for whom urban living is just not an option, I feel this is the kind of place you could buy a home without feeling guilty about destroying the beauty and culture that attracted you there in the first place. Plus, since they’ve wired the whole place with high speed internet, you can forget the commute and work from home.
Thanks so much for the comment. They really do seem to be doing things differently than traditional developments and they’re doing them for the right reasons.
If we could get FIOS in the rest of Albemarle County instead of just in Belvedere and Bundoran Farm, all would be right with the world. 🙂
I think the challenge is that Albemarle’s goal is no development in the rural area, so from that sense some BOS members feel Bundoran is a failure, because it does constitute a loss of rural land. Increasingly, I think we can’t treat all rural land the same way. I think a realistic approach should involve prioritizing our highest value assets in the rural area (in terms of ecology, historic and cultural value) and then use a tool like TDR to relocate density away from sensitive resources and perhaps into developments like Bundoran. In short, I think we’ve got to get a bit more practical in realizing that residential development will occur in the rural area and then be proactive in terms of what we feel it should look like. Right now, our approach is on saving “open space” which could be anything from a golf course to someone’s horse pasture. It is well-intentioned but often ends up just being a regressive subsidy for the wealthy. In practice a 500 acre horse farm is far more likely to get some kind of protection than a 10-50 acre parcel with rare or endangered species.
I think, If we’re really going to save biodiversity in the County and protect the legacy of farming, then I think creative approaches like Bundoran could pave the way (but hopefully by using less actual pavement…)