The design process and master plan of each Qroe Farm project may differ substantially, depending on landscape, agricultural uses, and market forces. The key element in any Preservation Development is our innovative lot structure, which protects common viewsheds and uses, while creating homesites of unusual quality. The structure of Qroe Farm lots, and their unique set of easements, rights and restrictions, is what sets Qroe Farm projects apart from peer communities, and this is the root of their additional value and security.
The Lot may vary widely in acreage and layout. This reflects our experience that rural land is often highly variable, and creating ten, twenty or fifty nearly identical lots on such landscapes unnecessarily homogenizes a community. Likewise, we have found that people come to the country for a variety of reasons—views, equestrian uses, forests and gardening—and each interest connotes different kinds of lots. One common element is ownership: the buyer in a Qroe community OWNS their piece of the conserved land.
The Development Zone is where the home, outbuildings, garden and yard are placed. It is typically ½ acre to 1 acre. This is the only area, besides the road and driveways, where land may be cleared for building, and construction is subject to design guidelines tailored to the context of each property.
The Home site surrounds the Development Zone, and is part of the Greenbelt, but is the owner’s “private domain.” It is typically approximately 2 acres. Although the land is protected from development activity, this represents a buffer between the home and areas, such as trails, which may be enjoyed by all residents of the development. This area may be fenced or landscaped as appropriate and selective clearing and thinning may be allowed (with approval) to improve views or solar access to the home.
The Greenbelt is protected land. The natural assets of the land are preserved in perpetuity by the recorded easements and restrictions, which may also give a third-party right to the municipality or conservation groups. Woodlands are protected and managed by the developer, the Homeowners Association and, possibly a land trust, with guidance from a forestry professional. Often trails or other amenities enhance residents’ enjoyment of these individually-owned, but common-use lands.
The Farmbelt is preserved in perpetuity for farming use. A farmer is engaged to farm the land for his/her own benefit. The Homeowners Association, which receives revenue from these agricultural leases, has input into the type of farming activities and in some years may be required to provide limited financial support to preserve farm operations.
Roads are typically engineered to public standards but reduced in size to reflect the character of the countryside. It is critical that the roads “lay lightly on the land,” following contours and limiting major grading, and this approach can require significant departures from standard regulations. Driveways can be either single or shared and may be very long, as they are typically less destructive to build than permitted public or private roads.