By: Brian S.

Since the late 1940′s, a shift in traditional suburban living has taken place. A shift that is bringing city-living to what were once quite neighborhood streets. Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s), which incorporate residential, recreational, commercial, and industrial aspects into one contained development, have become extremely appealing to buyers… and therefore developers. And it makes sense; you get the convenience of city-living with the comfort (and often times safety) of a suburban neighborhood.

Washington D.C. has long been known as a commuter city. High crime rates (although declining), poor schools, and high cost of living are three main reasons people, typically families, flee to places like Northern Virginia and Maryland. Take the new Crown Development in Gaithersburg; occupying 180 acres, the development is said to house a mixture of town-homes, single-family detached homes, multi-family units and over 260,000+ square feet of commercial use. The development will take place in 4 phases (East, West, Central, and Downtown) anchored by a Harris Teeter and an L.A. Fitness. This “smart urban living” development will emphasize rooftop decks as opposed to big backyards and promote public transportation, encouraging homeowners to lose their cars… let me remind you, this is 20+ miles from D.C.

What do you think of these new-age suburban neighborhoods? What are some advantages/disadvantages you see with them?

Fun Fact: The first known evidence of PUD zoning took place in Prince George’s County, Maryland in 1949.