riverwest investments
 

“Oldfangled New Towns”

May 20, 1991

(Excerpt)
Time Magazine

...In northern California, developer Phil Angelides underwent a similar epiphany. He and some partners had conventionally developed 4,000 acres near Sacramento when, in 1989, Angelides met architect and planner Calthorpe. Now 1,045 acres of the vast development has been redesigned and replanned by Calthorpe as a traditional townlike place called Laguna West. Two double rows of trees will make the streets appear narrower, and the houses will be set unusually close to the sidewalks, 12.5 ft. instead of 20 ft. or more- thus decreasing the usual distance between facing houses and creating outdoor space that feels cozy and communal. (Naturally, traffic engineers at the Sacramento County public works department complained about the density, and about the fact that Angelides and Calthorpe are planting so many trees.) Half the houses at Laguna West will have front porches, and none will be more than half a mile from the town center. Do contemporary Californians really want to live in such a throwback? Although the first model homes will not open until late July, almost half the lots have already been sold to builders…