Courtesy Davidson Communities
Courtesy Davidson Communities

The Wall Street Journal staffer Chris Kirkham shares the story of a California builder who accepted the challenge of building on a site in Orange County, Calif. that housed a popular horse breeding and training ground. When the site hit the market five years ago, the city’s zoning allowed about 30 homes to be built on the property, but much of it still had to be set aside as open space for equestrian use.

So how do you balance building a residential community while preserving a horse breeding and training ground? Here’s a snippet of Davidson’s story:

To keep horses from bounding into swimming pools or kitchens, Mr. Davidson designed a moat between the houses and the nearby course. Rather than build fences that might entice trained horses to jump over them, he created a gently sloped trench to prevent horses from intruding.

To control the odor, Davidson Communities has employed a full-time grounds crew to clean the course and the stables every day. After talking with several prospective buyers who are riders and horse lovers, Mr. Davidson said he found out “that smell is like perfume. It’s intoxicating to them.”

Read more >