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Bundoran Farm


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Bundoran Farm

  1. 1. B U N D O R A N F A R M A Conservation Community
  4. 4. BUNDORAN FARMINTRODUCTIONIn Southern Albemarle, on the upperbranches of the Hardware River, liesBundoran Farm. Home to a familyof farmers since 1940, this valley is aplace where the traditions of peaceful,sustainable country life have never goneaway. The landscape is as varied as it isspectacular. The vast areas of verdantpasture, orchard, and well-managedforest are interspersed with riding andwalking trails; and the breathtakingviews of the farm, the valleys, andthe Ragged Mountains in the distancecultivate a sense of a place that isenduring, timeless, and deeply rooted intradition.Bundoran farm is comprised of 2,300acres of rolling Albemarle Countycountryside located twenty minutesfrom Charlottesville and the renownedUniversity of Virginia. The mindfulstewardship of this land over the yearshas resulted in a place that wouldnot be unfamiliar to a visitor fromthe time of Thomas Jefferson. Heavystands of orchard grass and fescuecover a landscape of rolling pasturesand secluded valleys and hollows. Afifteen-mile network of riding trails,sprinkled with benches and gazebos,leads visitors through a dazzling varietyof mature Piedmont forest species,through and along the streams thattumble down through each valley.Two ponds provide a place for quietreflection or fishing; and farm buildingsand cottages dot the landscape, framingviews that typify the slower pace andnatural beauty of the Albemarle Countylifestyle.Bundoran Farm is also the location of anew kind of rural community; one thatpresents a unique concept of farmlandand forest preservation, combinedwith extremely limited residentialdevelopment. In the case of BundoranFarm, these principles result in a low-density community of approximatelyone hundred homesites, with the greatmajority of the farm’s acreage put undera unique regime of easements and deedrestrictions to ensure the character,function, and maintenance of the farmin perpetuity. 4
  5. 5. THE VISIONAnalogous to the principles of At the heart of the vision for Bundoransustainability and the “triple bottom Farm is the idea of the “Workingline,” the fundamental model of Landscape”. It is one of the keyPreservation Development has been elements that distinguishes Preservationdescribed as a “three-legged stool.” Development from other real estateEach leg of this stool represents a developments, even those that placedifferent activity and a different lands in conservation or preservationconstituency, and all three bear an covenants. Bundoran Farm is a workingequal amount of weight. At Bundoran industry whose base of operations isFarm the three legs of the stool are: the topsoil. This is true of all farms (and when we speak of farms here, we speak1. Farming – represented by broadly, including all properties that agricultural work and land make productive use of the land for management activities; pasturelands, woodlots, orchards, etc.).2. Environmental Goals – expressed Unique to Preservation Development at Bundoran Farm by the work of is the fact that we are retaining that Audubon International; and working arrangement, so any successful3. Home Development – exhibited approaches to developing the land must by home ownership and residency be consonant with this situation. This is on a working farm. not an approximation of living on a golf course or beside a national park. TheTaken together, these three land has been and will continue to beinterdependent legs of the stool manipulated, worked, and managed. Ascreate a seat or platform that is such, it is not “natural” in the romanticboth enduring, meaning capable sense of the word, which is to say it isof sustaining itself into future not pristine. These lands are and willgenerations, and replicable, serving as remain, however, earthy, beautiful,a model for similar developments that meaningful, and deeply rooted not onlyshare this approach. in nature but also in millennia of human activity.Historically, the settlement ofrural areas was accomplished bycataloging valuable resources suchas water, soils, crops, and trees andthen building where the land wasleast productive. The creation of theBundoran Farm community followeda similar pattern. The result is notreflective of a particular idealogy, suchas “New Urbanism,” “New Ruralism,”or “Conservation Development.”Rather, the design has been a processof rigorous analysis and a great dealof time spent in the field.To start, the project team designatedareas for permanent protection andenhancement and worked backwardto locate homesites that leaveintact the most precious and fragileresources of the land. 5
  6. 6. BUNDORAN FARMTHE PROPERTYBundoran Farm rests in the serenecountryside of Central Virginia thatThomas Jefferson once described as “theEden of the United States”.The 2,300 acres of Bundoran Farmcomprise an extraordinary parcel offarmland, forest, orchards, cottages, andestates in southern Albemarle County.Straddling Plank Road (SR 692) westof US 29 South, as well as Edge ValleyRoad (SR 696) north of Plank Road, thisscenic property is familiar to commutersand cyclists and to the Albemarleagricultural community as the previoushome of the Albemarle County Fair.The farm’s landscape is varied, but inmany ways typical of rural Albemarle.1,000 acres, or roughly half of thefarm, is wooded and a good exampleof well-managed mature Piedmonthardwood forests. Orchards bearingred and golden delicious applescover approximately 200 acres. Theremainder, roughly 1,100 acres, isfenced, well-watered pastures oforchard grass and fescue, and includesa cow-calf operation. The farm isalso home to two estates; nine rentalcottages; and numerous agriculturalshops, barns, and other outbuildings.The property, assembled by continuousacquisitions of parcels over the pastsixty years, has for decades embodiedthe value of stewardship of forest land.Very limited harvesting, as well aslocalized timber stand improvementand, more recently, aggressive invasiveeradication work in conjunction with theVirginia Department of Forestry haveresulted in large areas of exemplarymature forest. Likewise, the carefulmanagement of the farm over manyyears has resulted in pastures andorchards relatively free of many of theinvasive-species challenges typicalof nearby parcels. Management ofcattle operations has been generallygood, but uneven, across the variouspasture areas. Over the past few years,pastures have been under several leases,with varying levels of commitmentto rotational grazing and other bestmanagement practices.Baseline water testing for sedimentationand for marker species (“bug counts”),bears out this initial assessment,showing markedly reduced impactsin areas with faster rotation schedules. 6
  7. 7. The farm has, over the past decade or so, moved in this direction and is expanding the lease area of the operator with the most fervent commitment to these principles. The farm abuts the southern edge of the Rivanna watershed, but the property itself drains to the Hardware River. In fact, one primary perennial stream is the Middle Branch of the North Fork of the Hardware River. In accordance with county and state policies, a wetlands delineation was performed on the property and submitted with the Final Plat Application. Two constructed ponds can also be found on the property. In one case, Lake Scogo, the dammed stream has sponsored a limited, though functional vegetated wetland. Intervention in this area will be include a long-term program of assessment and invasive- reduction. The thousand or so acres of hardwood forest include valuable habitat, as do the large grassland areas of the pastures. Initial assessment tells us that the primary habitat of value, in a regional perspective, is the large unfragmented areas of interior forest. Of special value are those on the west side of the property, which abut large contiguous acreage used for timber. However,this habitat faces issues typical of large forested parcels in the area, particularly those concerning deer population control. The property hosts an active hunt club, implementing a state-directed deer management assistance program (DMAP), a site-specific deer management program that increases a landowner’s or hunt club’s management options for control of deer populations. The team is committed to continuing the DMAP program in perpetuity. Other communities in the area that have not responded to this challenge at the time of development are often forced to do so later, with concurrent disruption and expense.7
  8. 8. BUNDORAN FARMTHE REGIONAlbemarle County is located in Central Perhaps the most noted characteristicVirginia and within the Piedmont of the region is its exceptional natural 29Plateau. Boasting a rich history, beauty and magnificent surroundings.Albemarle County is known worldwide Situated in the foothills of the stunningas the home of Thomas Jefferson’s 240 Blue Ridge Mountains, the area draws CROZETMonticello, James Monroe’s Ash Lawn- on the best traditions of Virginia country 250 IVY 250Highland, and Patrick Henry’s Red living and its distinctive and individual 29Hill and is within close proximity to lifestyle. Located just minutes from 64 UVA 250some of the most notorious battle sites historic Charlottesville, Bundoran’s DS ROAD DOWNTOWNof the Civil War, including Richmond, residents will be part of this progressive, OO W CHARLOTTESVILLE K 64 DICWilderness, and Appomattox. vibrant community which offers fine art museums, an array of performing . RD BATESVILLEAlbemarle County enjoys a modified arts venues, annual equestrian events, P GA RScontinental climate with mild winters LO and the nationally recognized Virginia TAY VALL GE EY 29 EDand mild to humid summers. The Film Festival. In addition, residents and AD ROaverage temperature from June to their guests will enjoy experiencing the PL G AN UR K RD HB . NORTH GARDEN NCAugust is 75 degrees and the average area’s many award-winning vineyards, LY OL D 20 712for December through February is 37 fine antique shops, and the University ofdegrees. Average annual rainfall is Virginia’s Academical Village.47.29 inches and snowfall is 24.2 inches.Albemarle County was formed in 1744from Goochland County and namedfor William Anne Keppel, the secondEarl of Albemarle, titular governor ofVirginia from 1737 to 1754. In 1761the county government was moved toCharlottesville, which was establishedas a town in 1762. Albemarle Countyis approximately 110 miles southwestof Washington, D.C., 70 miles west of ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VIRGINIA Located in the Piedmont region of Central VirginiaRichmond, and 115 miles northeast ofRoanoke. The county surrounds thecity of Charlottesville and shares theUniversity of Virginia campus.The majority of the county’s 721 squaremiles are designated for rural areaprotections, with just over 72 square-miles, or roughly 10 percent, set asidefor urban-residential, commercial, andindustrial land uses. As of 2007, 895farms were operating in the County,accounting for 158,317 acres, or a littleover 34 percent of the County’s totalland area. Farming practices are diverseand include cattle, equestrian, and evenbuffalo operations as well as a numberof orchards and a rapidly growingnumber of vineyards. BUNDORAN FARM SE portion of Albemarle County, Piedmont Upland Physiographic Region 8
  9. 9. tai ian un ch nsMo pala Ap JAMES RIVER Charlottesville NORTH 9
  10. 10. BUNDORAN FARMTHE HISTORYThe rolling hills and valleys ofBundoran Farm are the product ofbillions of years of natural history andthousands of years of human use. It hasknown landlocked mountains reachinghigher than the Himalayas; it has beena coastline, a seabed, and a featurelessplain. The land has been nourishedwith minerals washed from riversand mulched with the rich compostof innumerable species of plants. Thearea’s rivers have revealed its valleys asmountains have slowly risen again, andmay still be rising.Even before Europeans arrived, theland around Bundoran might havebeen cleared and cultivated. Within avirgin forest of magnificent AmericanChestnut, whose trees towered asmuch as 160 feet above the ground,the ancestors of the Monacan IndianNation may have maintained fields nearvillages here.Although we have no certain proof,the rich soils still present today suggestthat natives might have settled andcultivated fields in the bottom lands ofBundoran. They would have burnedsuch fields annually in order to keepthem open, either for agriculture or toattract wildlife. And these first peopleslikely would have cultivated tobaccohere, which was sacred to them, andprobably taught visitors how to do thesame.Bundoran’s topsoil has been in nearlyconstant production since that time,including tobacco which was a popularcrop even among the earliest settlers.Unfortunately, these pioneer farmersdid not necessarily understand thebenefits of growing their crops in linewith the land’s contours. Moreover,tobacco does not grow well in soggysoil, so it appears that early tobaccofarmers dug deep ditches down thehillsides, perpendicular to the contours,to drain water from the rolling fields.Such practices put the topsoil at risk.And this, combined with the heavy tolltobacco takes on the soil’s nutrients,meant that farmers had to turn to otherother crops that were better suited to theconditions, such as corn and fruit.Luckily the hills around Bundoran areideal for growing apples. Each spring,the cool air sinks along the slope of 10
  11. 11. the hillsides and drains away from the new apple buds, preventing them from freezing. The lower grounds have always provided perfect pasturelands for livestock. The land itself was discovered by settlers in the early 18th century when scouts following the North Fork of the Hardware River determined that the area we know as Bundoran Farm was a prime site for settlement and called it North Garden. Other westward explorers following the South Fork of the Hardware River named that region South Garden. North Garden and South Garden can be geographically described as two natural “bowls” with higher ground between them. The fertile bottomland soils surrounding mountain forests and the adjacent Hardware River provided the basic needs for early settlers and opportunities to trade and prosper. After the Revolutionary War, more and more settlers crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to live in the Shenandoah Valley and Trans-Allegheny region. A way of transportation connecting the east and west was needed to accommodate the increasing population, and so the Staunton or Rockfish Gap Turnpike was authorized in 1818. Bisecting the southwest quarter of the county, the turnpike linked the port of Scottsville on the James River directly with the Shenandoah Valley and its many agricultural products. The high ground between North and South Garden emerged as a regional hub when the new Staunton or Rockfish Gap Turnpike created an intersection with Old Lynchburg Road. Locals called it the Crossroads. In 1818, the Sutherland family built the Crossroads Tavern on the corner of Rt. 29 and Plank Road (SR 692) for travelers and farmers using the Staunton and James River Turnpike. The farm as we know it today was originally purchased by the Scott family in the 1940s, was assembled by continuous acquisitions of parcels over the past sixty years, and has for decades been a testament to the value of land stewardship.11
  12. 12. BUNDORAN FARM 12
  13. 13. SITE INVENTORY & ANALYSISA number of inventory and Field visits and on-site reconnaissanceanalysis studies were conducted were necessary to investigate designpertaining to the physical opportunities and constraints and toelements of the farm property. familiarize the team with the property.These studies, and the resulting Assessment of natural and man-madefindings, assisted the team in factors and land uses were all part ofmaking solid, justified, and the site investigation. The followingappropriate planning and design analysis describes the implications anddecisions for the project. characteristic of each physical element.PROCESS 14EXISTING ROADWAYS 16PUBLIC VIEWSHED 17STREAM CORRIDORS AND WETLANDS 18PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND 19FOREST/WILDLIFE HABITAT 20MOUNTAIN PROTECTION ZONES 21PRESERVATION AREAS 22POTENTIAL DEVELOPABLE AREAS 23HOMESITES 24SLOPE 25ASPECT 2613
  14. 14. BUNDORAN FARMPROCESS“A SUBTRACTIVE PROCESS” On top of these, the design team then mapped critical natural resources of allThe design of the Bundoran Farm kinds, including forest and meadowcommunity has embodied the notion habitats; water resources such asof a bottom-up approach. The streams, wetlands, and ponds; anddesign team came to the land with many individual areas particularlya great deal of combined experience threatened by development or farmingin land-planning, conservation, and activity, such as steep slopes, micro-community development, but with no habitats, and wildlife corridors. Thispreconceptions. analysis extended to improvements and common area amenities such as trails,The design process at Bundoran recreation areas, and scenic views.Farm began with the land itself. Anexhaustive, iterative process, involving Finally, the selection of homesitenumerous professionals from the fields locations and the design of the finalof landscape architecture, engineering, homesite is the result of the culminationfarming, forestry, and real estate of this rigorous anaylsis and assessmentdevelopment was applied. In the case process, coupled with considerable timeof the 2,300 acres comprising Bundoran spent on the ground.Farm, this process took the teamover a year to complete and reflects aphilosophy to “let the land tell you whatto do.”First, the areas of the farm undercultivation or pasture were catalogedand evaluated, with the goal ofidentifying the most productive,economically viable, and sustainableagricultural land. The key here wasto protect large, contiguous, accessibleareas with good soils, shade, andwater. At Bundoran Farm, this analysisextended to the identification andprotection of important stands of timberand forest environments.Next, the design team overlaid a“viewshed” analysis, documentingareas of the farm that are visible frompublic and private roads, homesites,and adjacent properties during differentseasons in order to determine areasthat should be preserved to maintainthe scenic and rural character of theproperty. 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. BUNDORAN FARMEXISTING ROADWAYSLAY LIGHTLY ON THE LANDThe existing roads, paths, and trailswere located, studied, and wheneverpossible, incorporated into theengineered road system of the Farm.The end results are roads that “laylightly on the land” as well as minimalsoil disturbance.EXISTING ROADS-State Roads (Plank, Edge Valley)-Existing Paved/Treated Roads-Existing Farm Roads (dirt/gravel) EXISTING STATE ROADS EXISTING FARM ROADS EXISTING PAVED ROADS Red - Existing Roadways 16
  17. 17. PUBLIC VIEWSHED PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC VIEWSHED The land of Bundoran Farm is an iconic image of Albemarle County. A top priority was to protect the visual character of this landscape. A series of studies were undertaken to fully understand what people see and experience as they travel along the public roads and through the pastures and meadows of the farmPUBLIC VIEWSHED Yellow – Areas Visible From Public Roads During Non-Winter Months. 17
  18. 18. BUNDORAN FARMSTREAM CORRIDORS & WETLANDSThe streams, ponds, and wetlandsfound at Bundoran Farm are valued,sensitive resources. In addition toproviding water for agricultural andrecreational activities, the water courseslead to the Hardware River, the JamesRiver, and eventually to the ChesapeakeBay. Ongoing water quality testing isunderway to fully assess the impacts ofthe development and natural resourcemanagement concepts.PROTECTION OF STREAM CORRIDORS& WETLANDS-Two major constructed ponds-Stream corridors delineate perennial / intermittent watercourses-Preserves on and off site water quality-Creates abundant wildlife habitat CONSTRUCTED POND STREAM CORRIDOR CONSTRUCTED POND Light Blue - Stream Corridors & Wetlands 18
  19. 19. PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND PROTECTING THE FARM A major focus of the design process was protecting and preserving the Bundoran landscape. This was accomplished in part by placing all areas of the farm that are actively managed for agriculture practices under agriculture easement. Under guidance from a steering committee and an on-site Natural Resources Manager, the resident farmer is allowed use of this land for cattle, orchards, or other farm use, employing practices approved Audubon International for Bundoran Farm. Most forested areas of the property are under conservation easement, which commits the managers to maintain the forest under a professionally-developed plan for timber stand and wildlife preservation. Individual homesites are located in the seams between these important agricultural and forest areas, typicallyPASTURE/CATTLE in locations with good access and incomparable views. In the end, with many individuals owning a piece of the property, the farm still ORCHARD provides large contiguous areas for pasture, recreation, and forestry which guarantee the future viability of all these functions. Furthermore, road access is not designed to minimize expense, an approach that typically results in short culs-de-sac and homes located close to public roads. Rather, Bundoran Farm accepts unusually long roads, when required, to minimize fragmentation or other disturbance of agricultural or forestal uses. In return for allowing easements on their property, homeowners receive two benefits. First, though they may have bought only a few acres, they are welcome to use the entire farm property. Second, the maintenance of this land as farmland protects the investment of the homeowner, as there is no possibility of a neighbor changing the character of adjacent property to non-agricultural use. Large, contiguous areas of productive farmland are essential to maintaining the local economy, culture and Light Yellow – Pasture / Cattle landscape. Bundoran Farm’s pastures Operations and orchards not only help to enable Orange – Under Orchard Leases more efficient agricultural operations, Essential to maintenance of local they also protect the primary public economy, culture and landscape. viewsheds. Principal public viewsheds. 19
  20. 20. BUNDORAN FARMFOREST/WILDLIFE HABITATFOREST STEWARDSHIPRecognizing that this land is part of thelarger ecosystem of the area’s Piedmontforests, Bundoran Farm will continue inits commitment to sustainable, long-term thinking in forestry management.While management plans that have beenin place for decades will continue to befollowed and updated, the Bundoranproject has partnered with AudubonInternational to create a comprehensiveplan for the property with the goal FOREST/WILDLIFE HABITATof maintaining and improving theimportant functions of this land in theareas of water quality and wildlifehabitat. Large portions of forested landon the site will remain as preserves forwildlife; and the streams, ponds, andwetlands will be monitored, maintained,and protected for future generations.A significant component of the land andnatural resource management includesnative wildlife habitat protectionand enhancement. Large contiguousareas of Piedmont hardwoods havebeen mapped and will continue tobenefit from a comprehensive forestmanagement plan. These vast acreagesprovide a wonderful and diversehabitat for plants, animals, and humanrecreation.PLANT & ANIMAL HABITATAlthough a number of struggling nativespecies such as the white-tailed deerhave recovered, losses of other nativeplants and animals are a significantconcern. For example, a number ofeastern migratory songbirds are indecline, likely due to human activities.Those declines are caused by severalfactors such as fragmentation ofhabitat-- the dividing of large areasinto smaller parcels, and the resultingdisruption of forest cover.As stated in the Albemarle CountyComprehensive Plan: “Wildlifeis a renewable natural resourcewhich requires both protection andharvesting for proper management.The mountainous areas of the Countycontain the more dense populations ofwildlife...” By planning for the activemanagement and protection of wildlifehabitat, the design team sought to Green - Forest/Wildlife Habitatposition Bundoran Farm as a model ofthis philosophy.PRESERVE FOREST/WLIDLIFE HABITATBecause of its high value for wildlifehabitat the main focus was on thepreservation of:Large Contiguous Interior ForestAreas Adjacent to Neighboring ForestsAreas more threatened than edgehabitat. 20
  21. 21. MOUNTAIN PROTECTION ZONES PROTECTION OF MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPES Albemarle County’s mountains have MOUNTAIN PROTECTION ZONE been and continue to be a source of income, natural resources, scenic beauty, and recreation. Directly and indirectly, the County’s mountainous areas provide tens of millions of dollars to the local community in employment, tourism, and agricultural and forest products. Beyond the economic benefits, the mountains provide important natural functions, such as provision of clean water, contributions to healthy air, and habitat for many plant and animal species. To many residents, the “blue” backdrop of the mountains gives Albemarle County its sense of place, a quality that makes this area special and consistently ranked among the top places to live in the United States. Concerns regarding disturbance of steep land become pronounced in mountain areas due to generally shallow soils and length of grade on side slopes. Soil erosion, surface water runoff, and septic system contamination are amplified in these areas. Forest cover is the optimum land use for minimizing soil erosion and maximizing water quality. Soils on steep slopes are typically more erodible than in other areas. Inaccessibility and isolated location of development sites in mountain areas necessitate longer driveways and access roads disturb many times more land area than a dwelling itself. Because of their high ecological and cultural value as well as their propensity for soil erosion, the mountainous areas at Bundoran Farm were removed from the area being considered for the development of homesites.Blue – Mountain Protection Zone 21
  22. 22. BUNDORAN FARMPRESERVATION AREASCOMBINE PRESERVATION AREASBy overlaying the previously outlinedelements we were able to determinethe areas suitable for development andthose that should be preserved. Thissubtractive approach allowed for thefurther refinement of the initial analysisof the property and provided theoutlines used for the determination ofthe developable areas.Using this subtractive approach versusthe standard by-right development, we Pasture/Cattle Operationswere allowing the existing landscape todictate the location of the developableareas. By mapping the areas containingcritical natural resources of all kinds,the team was able to determine thoseareas of the landscape with the highest FOREST/WILDLIFEcultural and ecological value and thosethat were suitable for further analysis HABITATand refinement for the creation ofhomesites. EXISTING ROADWAY STREAM CORRIDORS & WETLANDS UNDER ORCHARD LEASE MOUNTAIN PROTECTION ZONE PUBLIC VIEWSHED Red - Existing Roadways Yellow – Areas Visible from Public Roads during non-winter months Light Blue - Stream Corridors & Wetlands Light Yellow – Pasture/Cattle Operations Orange – Under Orchard Leases Principal public viewsheds Green - Forest/Wildlife Habitat Blue – Mountain Protection Zone 22
  23. 23. POTENTIAL DEVELOPABLE AREAS HOMESITE SELECTION & REFINEMENT After the project team identified and overlaid all of these resources on a map, what was left was the area to be considered for development. A pattern of “seams” began to appear, between forest and field, between wetland and upland. Within this initial “developable area,” homesites were defined, REMAINING AREAS paying close attention to the location to minimize intrusion on the natural landscape. As these site selections were continually refined over many months both in the office and in the field, functional elements like roads, driveways, and septic systems were considered. Lot lines were drawn after the fact to accommodate zoning and to delineate areas of oversight and easement for each homesite. The result is a selection of homesites, at a very low overall density, each of which share common recreation areas, viewsheds, and resources in a way that makes each homesite part of a larger whole. Each lot is also connected to many miles of trail and common resources which, in a more typical development, would require ownership of a much larger parcel. HOMESITE SELECTION CRITERIA -Areas between and beyond zones targeted for preservation. -Beyond public viewshed -Leaving contiguous productive farmland -Removed from prime habitat -Far from water/stream corridors.Yellow – Potential DevelopableAreas Remaining After Overlayof all Analysis Layers 23
  24. 24. BUNDORAN FARMHOMESITESHOMESITE AREAS REFINEDAfter appropriate areas for homesiteswere identified outside of thepreservation zones, the selections werefurther refined by walking the land.Key selection criteria for individualhomesites included views, privacy,access, and ease of building. Optionswere further reduced to accommodatelandscape features, farm activity, roadaccess, and environmentally sensitivezones. HOMESITES Yellow – Refined Homesite Locations 24
  25. 25. SLOPE Slope plays a considerable role in determining land use. In terms of the envisioned programming for Bundoran Farm, agricultural fields require gently sloped areas while housing, trail, and wildlife habitat may best be situated on steeper zones. For analysis purposes, site slopes fall into one of four distinct gradient ranges; 0 – 15% slope, 15 – 25% slope, 25 – 40% slope, 40 - 50% slope, and greater than 50% slope. The vast majority of the open land is in 0 – 15% and 15 – 25% slopes. There are some wooded areas where these modest slopes are found, but they consist of small pockets of a few acres here and there on upland knobs and low boggy areas in the center of one or more ravines. While some areas within the wooded ravines have rather gentle slopes, they typically contain grades in the 25 – 40%, 40 - 50%, or 50% + range. For a property of this size, a very low percentage of the terrain is in critical slopes of 25% or greater. These steep slopes occur mainly in the mountainous forested areas. A small portion of the critical slopes are man-made; created as a by-product of roadway construction performed over the years. With the exception of the farm lanes, the site remains largely in its natural topographic state.0 - 15% Slope15 - 25% Slope25 - 40% Slope40 - 50% Slope50% + Slope 25
  26. 26. BUNDORAN FARMASPECTAspect refers to the direction in whichterrain is oriented in relation to the solarposition. This determines vegetativeplant growth, plant species, andmicroclimatic conditions throughoutthe day and year. This positioning alsohelps us understand the most useful andvaluable places to locate buildings.Solar analyses, according to the slopeaspect, were developed for the propertyon four different days (correspondingto winter and summer solstice and thespring and fall equinoxes), and at threedifferent times of day.JUNE 21 (summer solstice) 8 a.m. | 12 p.m. | 5 p.m.MARCH/SEPT. 21 (spring/fall equinox) 8 a.m. | 12 p.m. | 5 p.m. NDECEMBER 21 (winter solstice) 8 a.m. | 12 p.m. | 5 p.m W E E V E M N O I 6p R N e 21 N Jun G I N 21 pt. G Se 21 / rch Ma 1p 1 er 2 emb Dec 9a S 26
  27. 27. JUNE 21 (SUMMER SOLSTICE) 8 A.M. 12 P.M. 5 P.M.MARCH/SEPT. 21 (SPRING/FALL EQUINOX) 8 A.M. 12 P.M. 5 P.M.DECEMBER 21 (WINTER SOLSTICE) 8 A.M. 12 P.M. 5 P.M. 27
  28. 28. BUNDORAN FARM 28
  29. 29. SITE DESIGN ELEMENTSThe magnificence of Bundoran Farm is The various elements that were plannedrepresentative of the distinct landscape and designed fall into one of two levelsof Albemarle County. The challenge of development:of designing on such a spectacularpiece of property was overcome by not OVERALL MASTER PLANNING: elementsonly ensuring that the overall master that emphasize the Bundoran Farmplanning placed the development areas property as a whole, allowing for thelightly on the land but also that the preservation of the unique Piedmontdesign and planning occurred at various working farm landscape character.scales. By moving from a coarsermaster planning scale to a finer site SITE DESIGN: elements that specificallydesign scale, it allowed us to capture focus on the design and developmentthe overarching character of Bundoran of a single lot either for a communityFarm at every level of development. building such as the sustainability center or an individual homesite. ThisThe impacts of development were scale of development enables us to focusalleviated by both the community in on the small details used to create adesign process (in the form of sensitive unique homesite while maintaining theroads and maintenance of rural overarching goals of preservation andcharacter in all common features) and active use of the vigorous enforcement and promotionof standards for sustainability inconstruction, landscaping, and use ofboth individual and easement land. EASEMENTS 30 PROPOSED ROADWAYS 32 PHASING 34 MASTER PLAN 35 SUSTAINABILITY CENTER PROCESS 36 SUSTAINABILITY CENTER DESIGN 38 HOMESITE DEVELOPMENT 40 PRIVATE RESIDENCE 42 AUDUBON 44 29
  30. 30. BUNDORAN FARMEASEMENTSCROSS EASEMENTS & RESTRICTIVE These easement areas are definedPROVISIONS OVERVIEW irrespective of individual parcel boundaries, and every lot in the community includes acreage (usuallyPreservation Development integrates the majority of lot acreage) undera small number of homes positioned common management. As a result,strategically within an operating farm, these areas may not be built upon bypasture, and/or timberland. The owners, although driveways and sub-farmland is protected permanently grade utilities may be introduced withby a deeded easement system. This permission. Each owners’ “Public“farmbelt” easement not only protects Greenbelt” acreage is agglomeratedthe farmland from other uses, it with their neighbors’ land into largeexplicitly grants farmers the right to contiguous areas of well-managedfarm the ground as they reasonably see land, where cattle may graze, grapesfit. The remaining land is then examined or apples may be grown, or whereto determine what parts should be ecological reserves such as wetlandspermanently conserved in their natural restorations may take place.state. Lots suitable for development arefinally located within these “seams.” PRIVATE GREENBELTWithin these lots are relatively small, At a smaller scale, each lot containsstrategically located homesites that an area of approximately two acrescombine attractiveness of location and designated “Private Greenbelt.” Theseview with compatibility with farm areas, which surround the intendedactivities and conservation. Each is home site, are not part of the Publicassociated with a larger greenbelt area, Greenbelt, in that only the lot ownerthe steward’s “lot.” Each steward has access. The use of the land in thispurchases a specific area for a homesite, area is controlled by the homeowner,along with a larger portion of greenbelt, but construction is not permitted. Theand a share of the farmbelt as well. intention is to give the owner a privateWhile the homesite and lot remain for landscape, some “elbow room” inthe steward’s sole use, the majority their forest or field landscape. In thisof the conservation lands is given area more intensive landscape work,over to the community for passive such as walls, fences and gardens arerecreation. Each of the owners holds permitted.easements over the other areas andtogether endorse the farm operations. HOMESITEThis arrangement provides capital andincentives for profitable, productive At the other end of the spectrum is theuse of the land. The considerable “Homesite,” typically 1/2 to 1 acre onvalue added to each homesite by each of Bundoran Farm’s 108 potentialthe design and protection of the lots. These areas are carefully locatedcommunity permits lower density while for minimal impact on the visualmaintaining a satisfactory financial character and agricultural operationsreturn. This density cannot be too of the farm. While these zones arelow, however, or the critical mass that specifically exempted from themakes a “community” and supports it easement restrictions on the Publicfinancially is lost. and Private Greenbelts, building activity is still regulated.The development at Bundoran Farmemployed the following three types of Within the Homesite envelope, aeasements. “Development Zone” is defined where home construction isPUBLIC GREENBELT anticipated, and any construction must comply with design guidelines.The most prominent features of These guidelines are defined by theBundoran Farm are the nearly 1,000 “Bundoran Farm Pattern Book,” aacres of mature hardwood forest, survey of architectural and landscapeand the 1,100 acres of high-quality approaches suitable to the farmopen pastures. Together these zones landscape, and by the “Bundoranaccount for over 90% of the land area Farm Sustainability Guide,” whichof the property, and their preservation outlines minimum standards andand ongoing management are the opportunities for ecologically sensitiveessential goal of all plans related to the and resource-efficient design.development. Critically, the applicability of specific elements of these guidelines is definedThe great majority of these lands are at the level of every individual lotdesignated as “Public Greenbelt,” in a “Lot Portfolio.” This two-pagemeaning that all members of the summary of each lot at Bundorancommunity have access to these Farm reviews specific characteristicsareas--to the extent that access will of the location, hydrology, solarnot impinge on agricultural work-- orientation and agricultural operationsbut the management of these lands on the lot, and fine tunes theis in professional hands, guided development patterns of the farm toby a committee of developer and these characteristics.homeowners. 30
  31. 31. CROSS EASEMENTS & RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS Each owner has right to passively use the entirety of the property (own 5 acres, experience 2,300 acres); Each owner has right to protection of all greenbelt/farmbelt land; Penalties are large and lienable; Property Owners’ Association (POA): has specific dues and responsibilities, such as maintaining the forest and trail system and renewing and plowing roads; All owners look out for environment and act individually or through the Farm Management Committee; and Design Committee facilitates development consistent with established vision.31
  32. 32. BUNDORAN FARMPROPOSED ROADWAYSROAD LAYOUT IN THE FIELDThe result of roadways designed withdeference to the landscape and withthe siting of homes means more linearfootage of road. The project team hasattempted to mitigate this impact bydesigning very low-impact roads andby integrating stormwater managementinto the agricultural functions of theland. The country roads have beendesigned to be as narrow as possible toretain the natural contours and waterflow of the landscape.Roadways are private as allowed byspecial permit in Albemarle County.The design team was able to providenarrower roads of 14 feet in widthwhich are more in keeping with thefarm roads that were present on thesite prior to development. Realizing itmay be difficult for two vehicles to passon such a road, grass shoulders weredesigned to handle this scenario as wellas blend into grass swales designedfor stormwater attenuation. Thestandards for private roads (as opposedto those of the Virginia Departmentof Transpiration) allow not only fornarrower road widths but also steepergrades and tighter turning radii which,aside from keeping with the aestheticof the existing farm roads, also reducethe overall cost of road infrastructure.In the case of Bundoran Farm,approximately $800,000 was saved inearthwork alone, not to mention the costsavings from not having to constructcurb-and-gutter and roads with moresub-base and pavement surface. CARPENTER ROAD 32
  34. 34. BUNDORAN FARMPHASINGPHASED DEVELOPMENT TO MEET MARKETDEMAND AND REDUCE INITIAL TAX BURDENThe Bundoran farm property is zonedRural Area, the tax rate for whichis considerably less than that forresidential use. Due to the size of theproject and anticipated market demand,the conservation community wasdeveloped and platted in two phases toreduce the initial real estate tax to onlythat for roughly half the number of totalresidential lots that would ultimately berecorded. PHASE I PHASE II 34
  35. 35. MASTER PLANPROPOSED MASTER PLAN96 Total Lots12 “Dependencies”: AdditionalRestricted Development Right Attachedto Primary LotsHomesites arranged to minimizedisturbanceLot lines configured to allow largecontiguous cross-easements 35
  36. 36. BUNDORAN FARMSUSTAINABILITY CENTERPROCESSEvery lot and every home at Bundoranis unique; but just as every farmbuilding in history has responded tothe climate, topography, resources, andtraditions, the homes and communitybuildings on Bundoran Farm willreflect the values of the area’s agrarianlegacy, respond to environmentalchanges, and be rooted in their culturalheritage.To fully address the variety of issuesrelated to designing a sustainabilitycenter based around an agriculturaldevelopment, the design team tookcues from both the property andfrom historical settlement patterns.By researching historical agrariandevelopment patterns the teamwas able to better understand therelationship between the developmentand the agricultural landscape.Additionally, much as with the overallmaster planning process, a subtractiveprocess was used along with athorough analysis of solar orientation,wind, slopes, soils, vegetation, andwildlife to determine the layout of thesustainability center.Based on these considerations, apattern began to emerge that remainedthroughout the design process andultimately informed the design ofthe sustainabilty center. This patterncan be seen in the way the center isplaced along the ridgeline creating acurved pattern similar to that of anamphitheater. Indeed, according to AHistory of the Valley of Virginia, Farms inthe western parts of Pennsylvania andVirginia bear a striking resemblance toan amphitheater. The buildings occupya low situation and the tops of thesurrounding hills are the boundariesof the tract… everything comes to thehouse down hill.” 36
  38. 38. BUNDORAN FARMSUSTAINABILITY CENTERDESIGN place for local and farm-related concerns; to enlighten, encourage,The Sustainability Center, formally and inform regarding Preservationknown as the Baldwin Center Development and the practical side offor Preservation Development, is sustainability, environmental action,the nucleus for farm operations, and the role of the farm in modernenvironmental monitoring and, and homeowner interactionat Bundoran Farm. It demonstrates SHADE TOLERANT NATIVE PLANT NURSERYhow buildings, landscape, and people DEMONSTRATION SHED WITH PHOTO-VOLTAIC ROOF PANELSinteract in a sustainable manner;exemplifying the governing ideas of MAINTENANCE BARN WITH RAINWATER CISTERNthe larger farm at a smaller scale. Atthe broadest scale, the Center will serveas the social and informational hub for “BARN YARD”Bundoran Farm.As the headquarters for the Baldwin SUSTAINABILITY CENTER + CONFERENCE BUILDINGCenter for Preservation Development, LOG CABINa non-profit foundation whose (WOOF WORKING DEMONSTRATION BUILDING) VEGETABLE + HERB GARDENmission is to showcase innovative FARM OPERATIONS OFFICEpractices in agricultural preservation,environmental stewardship, andsustainable ground, the building SUSTAINABLE HARVESTED HARDWOOD NURSERYhouses members of the Bundoran Farmdevelopment, management, and realestate sales teams.In addition to hosting the InauguralBaldwin Center Symposium,“Residential Development and theWorking Landscape” (attended byover fifty participants from across thecountry), a number of groups withmissions and goals consistent withthe Baldwin Center’s have enjoyedgathering here. Equally important ishow this new facility along Edge ValleyRoad has become the place to find allthere is to know about Bundoran Farmand how to become a part of it.The Center serves:Residents – as training, orientationand education, a source of design andbuilder information, and as a gatheringplace on Bundoran FarmFarmer/operations – as a source of MAIL DEPOT + COMMUNITY RECYCLING CENTERbest practices, recommendations andresearch for this FarmDevelopers – as a “proof of concept”for Preservation Development, anda source of information, tools, andadvice.Neighbors and the general public –As an education center, a gathering 38
  40. 40. BUNDORAN FARMHOMESITE DEVELOPMENTEVOLUTION OVER TIME The following conventions identify site-specific development restrictions.Bundoran Farm houses will be HOMESITEdesigned to fit into and work with the (1) Lots and Homesites: Eachexisting landscape. The traditional and lot at Bundoran Farm contains acherished houses of the region exhibit predetermined homesite as showna subtle sense of existing within the on the Lot Portfolio. The remainderlandscape. Care and responsiveness to of each lot contains Farmbelt and FARMBELT/GREENBELT EASEMENTthe use, slope, and character of the land Greenbelt easements that areare fundamental principles guiding the accessible to residents and guests ofplacement of buildings, the locations Bundoran Farm but are managed byof drives, and the definitions of yards. others.Throughout Albemarle County, thereis a rich history of patterns that grew (2) A Development Zone has beenout of an intuitive understanding of the identified within each homesite.relationship between the house and the The Development Zone defines theland. absolute boundary for any potential disturbance on the site, other than for LOTHomes will be built in carefully selective clearing or septic purposes,chosen development zones that sit in unless otherwise approved by thestrategically located homesites within Bundoran Farm Design Committee.larger property boundaries, (greenbelt/ The intent of the Development Zonefarmbelt) ranging in size from 2 to 200 is to assure that the most sensitiveacres, with an average size of 20 acres. areas of the site are preserved whileThe lots themselves have been so chosen allowing flexibility in determining theto ensure that the diverse activities of location of the house.this working farm and managed forestare not in any way compromised, so (3) The Selective Clearing Zonethat the land, under cultivation already encompasses all land within thefor centuries, can remain productive in homesite not occupied by theperpetuity. Development Zone. The Selective SELECTIVE Clearing Zone establishes a CLEARING ZONEHistorically, many houses have evolved second tier of preservation for theover time, some starting as a rough lot. In general, all vegetation andhewn log structure or a wood frame topography in the Selective Clearingcottage. Later, a more refined and Zone should be preserved with the DEVELOPMENT ZONElarger main house is constructed that exception of the establishment ofmay have had rooms added as the partial views and utility grew. Outbuildings that servedutilitarian needs of the rural householdcreated yet another quality recognizedas part of the physical and culturalfabric of Albemarle County.Home owners at Bundoran Farm areencouraged to build and design in much HOMESITEthe same way – thoughtfully, carefully,and incrementally – responding toa family’s needs and an evolvingunderstanding of the land. Houses atBundoran Farm are designed so theycan grow over time; the body of thehouse is largely linear in form andnarrow in depth in order to work withthe land and to minimize grading andlevel changes. Bundoran Farm housesuse traditional and familiar proportions,materials, colors, and detailing. 40
  41. 41. Bundoran Farm homesites are carefully placed so they engage the surrounding environment without compromising it. Each homesite was individually evaluated for its beauty, buildability, privacy, and potential impacts on the overall community. Throughout the property, the homesites generally fall into one of three categories: RIDGE VIEW HOMESITES Homesites providing long views of the ridges of the surrounding Blue Ridge and Ragged Mountains over Bundoran Farm’s pastures and forest. MEADOW VIEW HOMESITES Homesites providing expansive and protected views of meadows, forest, lakes, and streams within Bundoran Farm’s landscape. FOREST PRESERVE HOMESITES Secluded homesites nestled within mature, well-managed stands of native hardwood trees near Bundoran Farm’s extensive trail network. While each homesite throughout the farm is unique, the approaches to designing and building on each homesite are similar. The preservation of the woodlands and wildlife habitat found through much of Bundoran Farm is crucial to sensitive development of the landscape. Development patterns must protect as much of the existing tree stands and existing vegetation as possible through thoughtful house placement, delicate grading, and efficient use of space. A smaller envelope of disturbance may be achieved by organizing the layout of the house and grounds in a linear fashion running with, and parallel to, the contours of the existing slope of the land.41
  42. 42. BUNDORAN FARMPRIVATE RESIDENCEFIRST RESIDENTIAL LOTDEVELOPMENT AT BUNDORAN FARMThe decision to build a home atBundoran Farm reaches beyondthe desire for a new house. Thiscommitment signifies the beginningof a lifestyle and of a meaningfulrelationship with the land.Thisenvironment is not a typicalsubdivision or estate development. Itis a working farm, surrounded by vastmanaged forests, the whole ecosystemsupporting a tremendous variety ofimportant uses, including agriculture,recreation, and wildlife habitat. Thequality of this unique landscape as aplace for life experiences and aninvestment depends on decisionswe make. These decisions willreverberate in this landscape forgenerations to come.McKee Carson worked in conjunctionwith a local builder on the design anddevelopment of the first residential lotat Bundoran Farm.For individual house sites, carefulconsideration of solar orientation,prevailing winds, creeks, slopinghillsides, and desired views will helpto preserve this delicate environment.This information will help to orient thebuilding to take advantage of naturaldrainage, daylighting, solar energy,natural ventilation, scenic views, andthe ability for surrounding vegetationto offer protection from the winter windand summer sun. Given the slopingterrain of many sites in Bundoran Farm,it is advantageous to orient the massingof the house and grounds parallel to thecontours of the slope.For the design of the plantingssurrounding the house the intential wasfor the plant pallete to blend seemlesslyinto the Bundoran Farm landscapeand incorporate native tree and shrubspecies, including in many instancesthose already found on the farm. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. BUNDORAN FARMAUDUBONBUNDORAN FARM DESIGNATEDA CERTIFIED GOLD AUDUBONINTERNATIONAL SIGNATURESANCTUARYAudubon International (AI) has beenkey to the design of this project. Anoffshoot of the Audubon Society ofNew York, AI has worked for yearswith developers to assist in the designof systems that work with, rather thanagainst, the environment. Best knownfor their work in the certification ofsustainable golf courses, AI sought touse Bundoran Farm as a model for theapplication of their new “SignatureSanctuary” program. Supplyingknowledgeable and experiencedfreshwater ecologists, environmentaltoxicologists, wildlife biologists, andother experts, AI worked with McKeeCarson to help shape both the overalldevelopment plan, and many specificelements of the design, from streamcrossing strategies to design of interiorforest preserves and watercoursebuffers.Most importantly, a Natural ResourceManager in residence at BundoranFarm will implement the EcologicalDesign and stewardship plans for thecommunity. This work will consistof both mediation between farmoperations and the environment, andlong-term ecological restoration andpreservation projects on the property,as well as education and outreachto help property owners and thecommunity make responsible choices.“The Bundoran Farm project is uniqueto all other Gold Signature projectsthat we are involved with around theglobe with respect to the commitmentmade to include working agricultureas an integral part of the developmentprocess” said Ronald G. Dodson,President and CEO of AudubonInternational. “We are proud andexcited to be part of the BundoranFarm project because we believeit will become not only a CertifiedAudubon Gold Signature project, butit will be an internationally significantdemonstration effort in sustainabledevelopment” concluded Dodson.The Audubon Gold Signature Programis considered the leading not-for-profit environmental education andcertification program in the world andhas garnered praise and awards frominternational, national, state, and localgovernmental agencies; other not-for-profit organizations; businesses;universities; and citizens around theglobe.Audubon has established a permanentpresence at Bundoran Farm. This isthe first time that they have engagedin a partnership with an agriculturalproject. From their facilities on the 44
  45. 45. property, located in the Robert Baldwin Center for Preservation Development, AI will conduct research as well as provide analyses and recommendations that will assist the farm, orchard, and timber managers to protect water quality and prevent topsoil erosion. The goal is to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment of this farm, not merely as an untouched and untouchable piece of landscape, but as a productive venture, one that continues to evolve and improve, contributing meaningfully to our economy, to our wellbeing as a society, and to our global environment. Audubon’s work will be on behalf of the homeowners here as well as the farm operators. Those who make their homes at Bundoran will design and occupy dwellings that fit within their landscape, complement farm life, delight their occupants, and contribute meaningfully to the wise use of the earth’s resources. Those who live here will benefit from the resources of the Baldwin Sustainability Center, which will provide spaces for meetings; resources for education; advice for ventures; and best practices for farmers, homeowners, and developers – not just for those who live here, but for all those who are attracted to the promise of this way of life. Audubon International’s website can be viewed at:
  46. 46. BUNDORAN FARM 46
  47. 47. SUMMARY McKee Carson was tasked with providing a master plan and site designs for Bundoran Farm in Albemarle County, Virginia, that established both an overall design vision and planning recommendations for future use. The proposed recommendations are programmed to function for the enhancement and preservation of rural agriculture and recreation pursuits while allowing for residential development. Interweaving the programmatic elements with the dynamic patterns of the site’s ecological processes recognizes Bundoran Farm as a unique, meaningful, multi-functional agricultural-based conservation community. Speaking for the entire team, we have seen few properties as unique and distinctly Virginian as Bundoran Farm. We are extremely pleased to have been involved with the master planning and site design work, and are honored to have the opportunity to continue our involvement in realizing the vision for Bundoran Farm. PLANNED IN COLLABORATION WITH: Qroe Farm Preservation Development Robert Baldwin David Hamilton Celebration Associates, LLC Charles Adams Joseph Barnes PHOTO CREDITS: Robert Llewellyn COPYRIGHT: This document is intended for the sole use of the offices of McKee Carson and Field Sport Concepts, Ltd. It is to be used for internal design discussions only and should not be reproduced without express consent of McKee Carson, an affiliate of Field Sport Concepts, Ltd. McKeeCarson an affiliate of Field Sport Concepts, Ltd 301 East High Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 p: 434 . 977 . 7522 f: 434 . 979 . 1194 www.fieldsport.com47
  48. 48. BUNDORAN FARM 48
  49. 49. APPENDIXThis appendix provides more determination of alternative types ofbackground into the process stream crossing and road types. Theseand deliverables that resulted elements assisted in the creation of thein the creation of the planning overall master plan and the site-specificand design for Bundoran Farm. design of the roadways and homesites.Items included in this appendixrange from the initial identitymapping done for the propertyto an in-depth vegetationanalysis to boards created forIDENTITY MAPPING 50PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT GOALS 51VEGETATION ANALYSIS 52STREAM CROSSING ALTERNATIVES 54ROAD TYPE MENU 56ROAD ALIGNMENT REVISIONS EXHIBIT 5849