If you compare a modern sprawl development with a neighborhood built before 1940, the most noticeable difference is the public spaces. The parks and streets in the old neighborhoods have incomparably more grace, charm and coziness.

That’s because the old ones followed certain design principles. Elliott Pond follows those same principles. We describe those pertaining to the common areas, such as the narrowness of our streets, in our web section here called “New Urbanism”. Below are some of the rules governing individual houses.

Small and Consistent Front Setback: The building line will be consistent and close to the sidewalk (usually less than 15 feet).

The goal is to make each street an outdoor room. It should have walls and a ceiling. The walls are the fronts of the houses, the ceiling is a canopy of tree branches. That’s very different from the squinting, desolate experience of a conventional development.

A second reason for short front setbacks is that it puts the front porches within easy conversational distance of passing pedestrians.

Height Guidelines: House heights are to be restricted to a certain range.

Why? To avoid a disturbingly chaotic look. But heights will vary somewhat so that the street does not look boring. We’re aiming for a balance.

Porches: Every house will be required to have an elevated, deep front porch that extends across at least 50% of the front of the house. Elevation: at least 30 inches. Depth: at least 9 feet (between the house wall and the inside of the railing).

Why? So you can bring out a table and enjoy Sunday dinners there.

Vinyl Caution: Synthetic materials will generally be prohibited from the exteriors of the homes.

Why? They look cheap and fake.

Architectural Review: All plans – but especially exterior elevations – will be reviewed by the Elliott Pond Architectural Committee (EPAC) to make sure they correctly follow our design principles.