Pasco County, Florida

Project: Master plan and form-based codes for a 600-acre new town development, with four neighborhoods, public elementary school, and mixed-use town center with public green and town hall.

Client: Longleaf Development Company; Contact: Frank Starkey, 813.926.0499

Status: First neighborhood completed; second and third neighborhoods under construction.

Awards: Tampa Bay Water sponsored Water-Wise Award “This ongoing process actually improves the overall wetland functions.”

Located on 600 acres on Florida State Highway 54 just north of Tampa, Longleaf consists of four new neighborhoods that contain the quintessential elements of the American small town. Tree-lined streets surround a central green with a community meeting hall, pool, and playground. A small, mixed-use Main Street contains retail space, offices, and apartments. The town’s houses and cottages, complete with raised front porches and picket fences, are all located within a comfortable walking distance of the town center as well as the elementary school site. These market-rate middle-class residences are filled with families who enjoy all the amenities of this special community. Neighborhood One is completed, and Neighborhoods Two and Three are under construction.

Urban Design Details

Longleaf is organized around a series of village neighborhoods with interconnecting streets, providing increased pedestrian and bicycle access throughout. The pedestrian-friendly design of Longleaf's neighborhoods will allow people to leave the car in the garage for many of their daily trips, cutting down on pollution and traffic.

Environmental Details

Longleaf not only preserves existing wetlands (the towering cypress domes), it goes two steps further by preserving upland habitats and restoring damaged wetlands. Longleaf is concentrated in charming compact neighborhoods, rather than scattered on to every piece of upland. Nearly 50% of the Longleaf site is left in a natural state. This provides natural patterns of storm run off in expansive greenbelts of open grasslands, piney flatwoods and cypress wetlands that frame the neighborhoods. Treated excess storm water is used to re-hydrate distressed wetlands. This ongoing process actually improves the overall wetland functions.

The street lights throughout Longleaf direct light downwards and not up into the night sky. They were chosen specifically to reduce light pollution, encourage the pleasures of stargazing and to create a peaceful ambiance.