Master Planned American Neighborhoods

In more recent years, New Urbanism has caused a revival among historic towns, cities and villages, where the home-buying public want more than just a place to sleep after work. A new appreciation for a richer social and civic life is integral to today’s Master Planned Communities, in which families can get to know their neighbors by relaxing on spacious front porches and walking along tree covered streets and sidewalks.

Today, a public awakening now highly values its heritage of great neighborhoods. Updated versions of the best features in homes many of us grew up in are now incorporated into Neo-Traditional, or Traditional Neighborhood Design. Hence, the pursuit of the American Dream has taken an indirect path, away from suburban sprawl and back to a renewed appreciation of development patterns of our predecessors. Some of these planning and design principals date back to the late 1800′s.

There are different types of communities catering to all lifestyles and include urban, suburban, active adult and golf course living. Home plans vary for all stages of your life: first home, move-up home, or a multigenerational home to accommodate your changing family needs.

Lost Creek Ranch in Allen, TX is a community of approximately 1200 homeowners. The neighborhood was constructed in 5 phases beginning in 2001. The average home is sold in 18days which makes Lost Creek Ranch one the most popular communities in East Allen. The community features a community pool, a clubhouse, 5 community parks, and a catch and release fishing lake. The community holds events like an annual Fall Festival to raise money for the local organizations benefiting needy. One event had bounce houses, a trackless train, music, pony rides, a ballooner, a face painter and many other fun activities. Other annual community events include pool party, Spring Festival, a Garden Hop, and community wide garage/yard sale.


The neighborhood has one elementary school with a strength of 800 children from kindergarten to sixth grade. The resident children go to a community assigned Elementary, Middle School, Freshman Center and a High School. The community is about 2 miles from the Villages of Allen Shopping Center, the Villages of Fairways Shopping and the Allen Outlets Mall.

Creek Trails: There is an inviting park area within the community that offers walking trails and a bike trail. The trails has two bridges with seating benches on the way forms a wonderful walking trail with creek view. These houses along the trail have bigger backyards with grilled fences with open view and they have a larger lot for tree houses and swing sets and trampolines.

All homes have a typical front yard and a back yard facing the alleyway. There are different floor plans with options of Single story or two story homes with varying square foot areas, all the houses have a covered garage built-up area to park the cars. Either a two car garage or three car garage. There are some extended garage plans which has a storage space inside it.

Ten Oaks community  and Silhouette are two other communities adjoining LCR sharing same school and no partition in any form separating these three communities in terms of a large wall.

Alleys and neighborhood planning

Like most proper house layouts have public and private areas, there is the public street and the more private alleyway, where the more interesting parts of urban living happened. The development of sewers, utilities, modern appliances, and cars removed much of the need for alleys.

There are certainly Urban Planning advantages to the use of alleys in that it seperates pedestrian and vehicle zones and can foster more of a community feel with smaller front yards and houses pushed closer to the pedestrian zone. Apparently the residential consumers of Dallas are willing to lose 10′ of their back yards in order to get that dual access.

Personally, I think alleys are a great idea. I’d rather have garages facing the alley; it has a much neater appearance than endless rows of garage doors facing the street. It’s also a better place to put ugly utility poles, and gives you the option of better utilizing a backyard for a workshop.

Some other older cities had alleys, mainly used for garbage collection and utilities management.

Admittedly, it is often more attractive without the driveway, it helped with the appearance of the neighborhood. When the garage is in the back, you do not have all the cars parked directly in front of your house all the time. It is more about the aesthetic of the house.

Patio/ Outdoor space

With spacious courtyards featuring outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and more, the luxurious patios are a great space to host afternoon activities and celebrations. These Homes feature modern architectural design elements with classic comfort both inside and out. Courtyards are the perfect location to celebrate any occasion whether it’s a relaxing evening with loved ones or a lavish get-together with close friends.

Type A home plan

The gorgeous exterior of this Type A home, coupled with its unique design, will create a memorable experience for all who see it. A large covered porch welcomes you and your guests inside where the great room will set the perfect mood for all occasions. A fireplace and French doors to the rear grilling porch help to enhance the great room. An island and a high bar with seating are just a few of the luxuries you’ll discover in this kitchen, just a few short steps away from the breakfast and dining rooms. Upstairs, one can’t help but admire the stunning view from the theater balcony before traveling into the media room or one of the remaining bedrooms. Two attic access doors also lend more than enough storage possibilities.

Type B home plan

This gorgeous brick and stone European style home provides comfortable living and boasts elegant architectural details on the exterior. The main entrance, windows and garage door are all arched and the hip-gable over the garage features shake siding. Entering into the foyer you’ll find an inviting great room with a fireplace and a dining room with 12″ timber columns in 2 corners. The great room is open to the kitchen with a large eat-at bar and a breakfast room as well as access to relaxing screened in grilling porch, complete with its own corner fireplace. The master suite features a 10′ boxed ceiling, a whirlpool tub, duel vanities and an enormous walk-in closet. 2 more bedrooms share a bathroom on the other end of the house and upstairs is a bonus room over the garage that is perfect for a home theater or game room. European Style House plan with open floorplan, spacious outdoor living and fabulous master suite

Townhome Planning

The long-run prospects for townhouse construction are positive given large numbers of homebuyers looking for medium density residential neighborhoods, such as urban villages that offer walkable environments and other amenities, which means groceries, restaurants, and shops are all within walking distance.

This feeling of community and “workability” are among the positive benefits offered by many townhouse neighborhoods, and part of the reason why townhome construction overall has been on an upward trend for the past 20 years.

A well planned community is a stress free place to live. Hence let’s take this lesson to allocate a certain percentage of the total area of the neighborhood for open areas like parks, ponds and walking trails and see a change with beautiful landscaping contributing towards happy and healthy mind and bodies. As Architects can we make a change in our society and environment we live in!