What an honor to be asked to do the watercolor renderings for the 2018 Coastal Living and Southern Living Idea Houses! The Coastal Living Idea House was designed by my friend and incredible architect, Eric Moser (Moser Design Group) in the Habersham community near Beaufort, SC. The Southern Living Idea House was a renovation in Austin, TX. I didn’t get to visit the Austin house, but I can attest that the Beaufort house is absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend you go check it out - and the lovely neighborhood it’s in, Habersham. Check out more on Coastal Living’s website.
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The City of Yuma recently updated their landscape regulations to 1) emphasize the importance of trees to provide shade, reduce energy consumption, absorb stormwater runoff, and improve air quality; 2) to encourage xeriscape, low-water use landscape design; and 3) to improve aesthetics throughout the community. Landscape is an integral part of the community’s infrastructure. The changes to the regulations addressed common concerns that arose with the previous landscape regulations. Under the previous code, staff frequently reviewed landscape plans that specified plants not well adapted to Yuma’s climate, specified inappropriate groundcover materials, and oftentimes did not contain adequate information. The previous code’s standards were based on the area of the space, which required designs that filled the space with plants rather than designs that encouraged thoughtful, pedestrian-friendly locations for the landscape material. Furthermore, the area-based standards in the previous code did not make the purpose of the required landscape clear. The new code outlines the rationale behind each required landscape area and why certain types of plants are preferred. Overall, the goal of the new landscape regulations is to reduce the cost of landscape while increasing the landscape’s benefits to the community.
The most important change I recommended for the regulations was the introduction of a designated streetscape zone to emphasize trees along the street to provide shade to pedestrians and visual enclosure to the street to calm traffic speeds. Many studies have shown that tree-lined streets increase property values by making these areas more desirable places to live, work, and shop. Another key change was requiring single-family residential lots to plant one tree per lot, an increase in the number of trees required in parking lots, and a flexible point system to regulate landscape requirements for retention basins.
The effort started with the creation of the Recommended Plants List to identify and encourage appropriate, low-water use plants for Yuma’s desert climate. This list, created by Community Planning staff in conjunction with the Public Works Department, Yuma County Water Users’ Association, and APS, is now available to the public at City Hall and online. It is provided to designers and landowners as they develop their landscape plans, typically during the pre-development meeting process.
Working with the Hendricks County Planning & Building Department in Indiana, I had the pleasure of created several signage graphics for the updated Sign Standards section of their Zoning Ordinance. The Department asked for simple black & white graphics to illustrate the unique aspects of each particular type of signage allowed in their ordinance. In total, there were 35 different types of signs; some permanent signs and some temporary. The graphics allow ordinance users to quickly and clearly identify the type of sign they are proposing to erect, as well as key information about permitted height, location, or projection distance.
Located on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina, the Angel Oak Preserve is a conservation project proposed and championed by the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. If preserved, this land will protect and celebrate the unique 500 year old Angel Oak tree near the property. I was lucky to be part of the team to create graphic renderings to illustrate potential designs and surrounding areas.
Here's how the Lowcountry Open Land Trust describes the project: "Situated at a community crossroads in the heart of Johns Island, this publicly accessible park will provide an opportunity for visitors to gather, learn and celebrate the region's cultural and natural history. Protecting the property will enhance and extend the existing parkland, with the potential to create a more functional multi-use park experience for visitors, allowing them to explore a forest park while just steps away from the property's namesake attraction. The park will create an additional layer of connectivity - between the existing Angel Oak Park and the adjacent school - providing students with an easily accessible experiential learning opportunity unparalleled in Charleston County."
Find out more on the Lowcountry Open Land Trust website.