The "Connected" Community in Grand Junction
Have you ever driven through the rows of houses in your own subdivision, passing numerous households and wondered why, after years of living next to these people, you don’t know any of them? Worse yet, maybe you are Facebook friends and liked one of their recent posts but you haven’t actually spoken to them in real life for months…and they live 3 doors away from you. I recently noticed an ambulance parked at my neighbor’s house so I walked over to see what was going on. I later had the realization that someone in my neighbor's household has to literally die for me to be compelled enough to walk over and have a conversation with them.
It's no secret that the modern digitally “connected” lifestyle has brought more people together at a superficial level and has simultaneously separated people from meaningful, real life relationships. At the time of this writing, 80% of the world is on Facebook and the average user spends 50 minutes per day scrolling through the highlight reel of other peoples lives. Surprisingly enough, 45% of people over the age of 65 are on Facebook...it’s basically an epidemic. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg in a recent interview with The Associated Press said it’s the growing sentiment in many parts of the world that “connecting the world” –the founding idea behind Facebook—is no longer a good thing. Another factor contributing to the decline of “real-life” relationships in society is the amount of time spent in front of a television. According to a recent New York Times article, the American adult spends on average 5 hours and 4 minutes per day watching TV.
I don’t think social media and TV screens are the only thing to blame for the social environment that has been created. As a land developer and home builder in Grand Junction, I also see how today’s subdivision and new home design has helped to isolate people from the outside world instead of creating a setting that makes it easy, convenient and comfortable to be outdoors and interacting with other people in the neighborhood.
Let's go back to the opening line of this post…"Picture yourself driving into the subdivision where you live". When you turn in, you’ll notice a 44 foot wide swath of asphalt and concrete. The design standard for new roads is a 31 feet wide section of asphalt bordered by 6.5 feet of concrete on both sides. The drive over curb allows the sidewalk and asphalt to feel like one solid driving surface. This makes a great width for drag racing or driving 50+ miles per hour on your way home from work until you get within 60 feet of your home, at which point you click the garage door opener so the door can get a head start, allowing you to coast into your garage without a pause. Then, before you even come to a complete stop in your garage, you click the remote again to close the door behind you. You may even take a moment to admire your impeccable timing before you step out of the car. Next, you walk into your house, lock the doors, lower the blinds and finish the rest of your evening inside the house and in front of the TV or computer, cell phone or -- if you’re lucky-- in the back yard behind a 6 foot high privacy fence. Notice that you didn’t see any neighbors on the drive in. If you did, you drove by them so fast you didn’t have to wave or even make eye contact. Also, there are no front porches, pedestrian- friendly walking paths, parks, community gardens, etc., so there is really no reason for people to leave their “castle walls" unless by armored car! Ok, this is a slight exaggeration but it’s not too far off from the new normal.
This is why many people today are ready, if not yearning, for something different - wishing that they could be part of a connected, neighborly community; all while still maintaining the privacy they value once within the walls of their own home. If you are one of those people, let me share with you some of the features of our newest community called Copper Creek North.
Copper Creek North is Grand Junction’s newest pocket community, meaning it’s a walk-able community with uniquely designed homes that surround a network of pocket parks connected by pedestrian-friendly walking paths and anchored by a community center. The result is a connected community that gives residents more opportunities to get outside and to interact with other people.
This community has one exclusive builder, Copper Creek Builders, which helps maintain architectural and pricing consistency.
Here are some of the main distinctions and details that create a connected community rather than a regular housing subdivision:
- Community pocket parks
- Pedestrian-friendly walking paths connecting park spaces
- Community Center
- Extra parking bays
- Reduced street widths
- Rear Loaded Garage
- Functional front porches
- Nested homes
- Windows overlooking parks
- Layering from porch to park
In Part 2, I'll go through each of these design features in detail and explain what sets Copper Creek Builders apart from other home builders in the Grand Junction area.
If a Pocket Community like what I've described above appeals to you, click the button below to schedule a free tour, we'd love to show you the difference!