A planned 146-home neighborhood in Lone Tree’s RidgeGate development got an initial green light from the City Council Monday night.
Montecito at RidgeGate, an upper-end development aimed at empty nesters and retirees, could start to take shape next spring. The 42-acre piece of land on which Montecito is planned is south of Sky Ridge Medical Center at RidgeGate Parkway and Crossington Way.
The council unanimously approved a sketch plan for the project. While developers still need final approval to break ground, sketch plan is typically the toughest hurdle in the city’s planning process.
Council members were enthusiastic about the architecture and other details developer Pulte Homes highlighted during the meeting.
Mayor Jim Gunning joked that if his wife agrees, they may be among the first buyers.
“I’m the target market,” he said.
Gunning said Montecito brings something new to the rapidly growing community.
“Mostly what we’ve seen in Lone Tree is bigger, single-family homes or town homes,” he said. “This is different from what we’ve seen in the past. It’s kind of an exciting product.”
Because it’s aimed at the 50-plus market, builder Pulte Homes designed Montecito with minimal homeowner maintenance in mind. A homeowners association will maintain front yards. Developers envision back yards equipped with fire pits, fireplaces and built-in grills.
“We put an emphasis on outdoor living,” Pulte Homes spokesman Mike Polhemus said. “Every lot backs to open space.”
Plans show trails planned within the neighborhood tying into regional trails.
Pulte plans a central gathering point within the development. A park pavilion designed with an outdoor grill and kitchen, water fountain and indoor/outdoor seating will, they hope, draw residents for regular, informal meals and socializing.
Because the site is sloped, developers plan to build the homes in tiers cut into the hillside. Proposed architecture calls for a mix of Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean architectural styles.
Fences around the development and an unmanned gatehouse will help project an air of exclusivity, developers said.
Home prices within Montecito will start at around $350,000, with an average cost closer to $450,000. While the ranch-style houses aren’t large – square footage starts at about 1,550 – they have the potential to be so. If homeowners finish the basements, living space within some of the homes will exceed 3,000 square feet.
Montecito is a small piece of the 3,500-acre RidgeGate development. At buildout, as much as 50 years down the road, RidgeGate will include 12,000 homes and 20-million square feet of retail and office space. Sky Ridge Medical Center and the Lone Tree Recreation Center, both up and running for more than five years, are among the development’s centerpieces. The Lone Tree Cultural Arts Center, under construction with a planned summer 2011 opening, is also among RidgeGate’s star attractions.