Orange County Market Area Boundary

Orange County is working on a new approach to development rules

Orange county’s land development code was written 60 years ago for a car-centric society separating residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural which is why most of us live in HOA suburbs in single family homes.

Affordable housing is becoming a common term today because homes are becoming more and more expensive with the average single family detached home in Orange County selling for $400,000 dollars.  People just can’t afford these houses anymore.  The new code will encourage mixed-use development with a high density residential component closer to mass transit.  The word sustainability is also becoming more of a household word.

It is nice to see the area east of the Econ labeled “Rural East”.  Thinking about the big developments proposed over the years in the Lake Pickett area, if there was one reason they just don’t work forgetting they are in the rural area to begin with is the sprawl and how 2.5 homes per acre just doesn’t fit into the trend of the future.   I often thought the desire to appease the people who live in those area by continuing to reduce the density is a double-edged sword.  It’s great having less houses but it certainly doesn’t help sprawl.

And I never could understand how a development could be proposed that was entirely driven by cars (pun intended).  The communities were called “walkable” but walkable where?  A person living there certainly can’t walk to work and there is no bus service or bike trails to take a person to a place of employment so walkable really means a person can walk around the block.  That doesn’t sound like a “walkable” community to me.

Are single family detached homes on a half acre or more a thing of the past?  I hope so and I also hope more emphasis is placed on multi-modal transportation options as there is no way our infrastructure can continue to support all these cars.  No development should be built without every transportation option available.  It is just not sustainable.


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Posted in McCulloch Road.