Natoma Development, Los Altos Hills
This affluent community has a proud history of protecting its country character through a commitment to large lots, rejecting any kind of retail building, limiting urbanizing elements like sidewalks and streetlights, and developing an extensive network of walking and horseback trails. As demand for new Bay Area homes has surged, the Town has fought to preserve its character, but often the planning process results in a suburbanization of what was once rural or semi-rural. New trophy homes, with large fenced lots gated at the street, break neighborhoods into patches of unused private garden areas cut off from the larger regional fabric of oak woodlands flowing over rolling, grassy hills.
Thuilot Associates presented an alternate vision of development, one that eliminates fences in favor of open spaces and vistas, restores degraded meadows, renews oak woodlands by removing invasive species and planting native trees, and balances compact high-end home construction with a minimal footprint on the land. Working with the Town, we have set a new precedent in which the landscape is allowed to prevail.