Because of its location, Bellewood of Dunwoody faced topographic, traffic, and surrounding land-use challenges that helped shaped its design. Nevertheless, Land Plus Associates managed to create a pedestrian-friendly cluster community that is densely packed but still offers green spaces for its residents.

A move-down community targeting empty-nesters and professionals, Bellewood required a 40-foot-perimeter buffer to minimize impact on the surrounding lower-density neighborhoods. Its location near a major artery also meant that a gated entry, fencing, and extensive landscaping were needed to create a sense of separation.

The land plan and the architecture were developed simultaneously in order to determine the best layout for the density requirement. Taking into account lot shape, streetscape, existing tree cover, and connection to the neighborhood, each 3,500- to 3,750-square-foot footprint was designed to fit the individual lot.

"Because of the density, we gave the houses small backyards," says landscape architect Alec G. Michaelides. In addition, traditional wood fences, walls, and gates were used to give visual separation to each home. Brick walkways and custom designed mailboxes front the tree-lined streets, while a series of three parks become the focal point of the community, Michaelides says.

The car is still needed, so the planners used a combination of driveways and private alleys for each home. All of the homes that line the main entry drive are alley loaded. This design, the planners say, allows for an uninterrupted streetscape that can serve as an extension of the neighborhood entrance.

Category: Single-family detached community; Entrant/Builder/Developer: Bill Grant Homes, Dunwoody, Ga.; Architect: Stephen Fuller Inc., Duluth, Ga.; Land Planner/Landscape Architect: Land Plus Associates, Atlanta

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