What's the deal with all these gated communities?

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by Mermaid, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. pk305

    pk305 Beach Fanatic

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    Our Seagrove neighborhood has a gate on one end of the street only... due to the location of the street, it quickly became a raceway, cut-through & is a narrow street, often with lots of little kids close to the street. I couldn't believe how some people gunned down that street before the gate. Every other solution imaginable was discussed ad nauseum. The gate was the first thing tried and it has worked perfectly!! Anyone can still drive down the street coming in from the other end, they just have to turn around & go out the same way.
     
  2. Cil

    Cil Beach Fanatic

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    pk305
    That's really a special case, but I am curious:
    Were speed bumps ever discussed as a solution?
     
  3. sunshine

    sunshine Beach Lover

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    Prior to moving here, I would have never imagined living in a gated neighborhood - it seemed snooty. But, we live in a gated community in SoWal and I must admit, it's kind of nice.

    Here's an example of why: Last year, some friends from Memphis stayed with us for several days. Their son Peter was perhaps 3 and had not been allowed to go out in his front yard alone. His mom relaxed when she realized that there really was no traffic on our street, and Peter got his first taste of independence that trip. It was extrememly sweet.

    Poor dad, when they left, mom, Peter and his older sister were all bawling in the car.
     
  4. Cil

    Cil Beach Fanatic

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    That's a cute story, Sunshine, though it could be argued that every child needs to learn to be street smart, and low traffic is not a good reason to leave a young child unattended in a front yard.

    I dunno, living behind a gate just seems like kind of a sad trade-off.

    I picture teenagers having to check in with the security guard before they TP a house. ;-)

    Our neighborhood in Denver contended with cars shooting down the street.
    They added a stop sign but denied us speed bumps. My next door neighbor took things into her own hands and began walking with eggs in her pocket, which she has indeed thrown upon occasion. :D
     
  5. pk305

    pk305 Beach Fanatic

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    Speed bumps were debated, discussed a lot.
    Funny thing about speed bumps. Several neighborhoods in Nashville (which have become big cut-through streets in the last few years) installed speed bumps, infuriating a lot of people :pissed:
    Well the word got out to just HONK while driving over each bump.....in a few months the bumps were outa there!!
     
  6. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Great idea. I hate speedbumps.
     
  7. Cil

    Cil Beach Fanatic

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    So people were able to get rid of speedbumps by honking. Wow, I don't know whether to salute the honkers for defeating The Man or waggle my finger at them for acting like middle schoolers. ;-) But yeah, I know speed bumps are annoying.
    The reason they would not install them in our old Denver neighborhood is because the authorities said it would be problematic for emergency vehicles, which is understandable. One thing they did do was periodically drop off one of those portable machines that clock your car and display your speed.
     
  8. DBOldford

    DBOldford Beach Fanatic

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    Gated communities were inevitable in South Walton when property values began soaring. People are drawn to the area because of its small town values, but bring their own synergy (and fears) with them from elsewhere. We had no gated homes in the Napa Valley until we began getting the second home McMansions. We call these the "ME" gates. Now they all try to outdo one another with the gates and intercoms. People with 25,000-sq. ft. houses have to build a freestanding guest house of 5,000 sq. ft. so they don't have to share space with their "loved ones." It is silly in that any person can usually step around the gates to access these properties and I believe they are simply an announcement that there might be good booty to be had in a house that is seldom occupied.

    The sad thing about gated communities and "no trespassing" signs at the beach is that it flies in the face of the past spirit of the place. People always walked past your house or cut through your property on the way down to the beach. That was one way we made new friends or invited people to dinner when you bagged too many fish. You went to the beach to mix it up with people, not to get away from them. I was really turned off by all the "members only" and "private" signs at WaterColor, especially since Seaside is so generous to share their events with others, a greater sense of community.
     
  9. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

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    Donna, that's the sentiment that I feel when I see the gates, the reason why they don't sit well with me. I've always thought of the beach as the place that you go to escape from the things that make people want to erect gates around their homes in the first place! Gates at the beach smacks of bringing "excess baggage" with you to the place where it doesn't belong. Thanks for articulating my thoughts about this much better than I could.
     
  10. TreeFrog

    TreeFrog Beach Fanatic

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    Purely speculation on my part...

    It wouldn't surprise me if the gated developments were being built by folks from South FL, who don't understand they aren't needed or wanted here. I agree that some buyers may bring their "home mentality" as well.

    I've always maintained that if you don't feel safe without a gated community or a walled-in lot, that you should move somewhere else. Not being ugly, it's just that you can't have peace of mind if you've got a bunker mentality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2005
  11. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Our cottage happened to be a new gated community when we bought it. The gates did not influence our decision either way, nor can I say I think about them much today. We just liked the cottages and the way the community looked, in large part because it was a small quiet unpretentious community -- gates don't necessary suggest pretentiousness. The gates were open during the day and closed at night. My only concern is how we'll have pizza delivered in the evening if we ever order pizza to be delivered. (I think we'll figure that one out).
     
  12. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    The bigger problem is finding someone to deliver pizza. I know what some of you are going to say, but I find their food to be as tasty as their customer service.
     
  13. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Quite often having a gate is simply marketing that says "we're upscale/exclusive".

    If you have a guard/patrol that acually monitors activity, that is real security, otherwise a gate just keeps out the lowlifes looking for a DVD player to trade for crystal meth.

    Gates in SoWal are about marketing and keeping the riff raff out, rather than real security. I understand the appeal if it is your second home and you live far away.

    I can foresee a day when many more gates/security are added in SoWal. A challenge to the ideas of openness fostered by New Urbanism.
     
  14. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Speaking of gated communities, have any of you tried to drive into Wild Heron. Now that is security. Realtors cannot even show property in Wild Heron (problem in my opinion) without being escorted by the listing agent.
     
  15. hutch

    hutch Beach Lover

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    SJ My neighbor is an agent for Wild Heron. He is a great guy and will get you in any time. His name is Bob Debellis. Tell tell him you are a friend of the hutch. I think this weekend they are having a showing of model homes and giving away prizes. Business must be down.

    the hutch
     
  16. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Beach Lover

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    Gates & fences suck!

    Just my humble (but always correct) opinon. :cool:
     
  17. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    But what about my fence that keeps Molly safe and sound????
     
  18. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Different kind of fence with a "real" purpose. :wub:


    But I am a sucker for "old" fences- picket and wrought iron and with neat patterns. The kind that would never be mistaken for the kind to keep anyone out- just pretty. And welcoming!
     
  19. katie blue

    katie blue kt loo

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    Me too, Jdarg! Even though I don't choose to live in a gated community, interesting fences can be cool. Always wanted to make a photo coffee table book of great old fences along the US roadside.

    I'm not sure gates in SoWal accomplish that much besides projecting an image, but really, image is all you have to sell when you are developing a new community without any previous history. And whether it's for the perception of security or the projection of status, there's a segment of society that obviously demands those gates, because otherwise developers wouldnt bother to put them in.

    Any criminal worth his salt can get into practically any house, gated or not. Real security comes in the form of alert, concerned neighbors in a good community. Luckily the majority of thefts in SoWal probably have more to do with renters than with actual burglars. The door to my beach house was left wide open for 2 weeks (!) by a negligent contractor once, and nothing was touched. And I'm right near 30a.
     
  20. John

    John Beach Fanatic

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    I understand the "image" thing and why all (most) of you don't like the gates. I never considered myself a "Gated Community" kind of person. However, I now live in a small development of 50-lots, located...behind a gate!

    But now that i'm now on the other side of that gate, I really like it. I suspect that it cuts down on a lot of traffic. You know, otherwise good folks just wanting to cruise through and check things out, especially in the busy tourist season. But it's really nice to hang out with the kids and neighbors and not have any cars pass by. It's nice and quiet.

    My 2-cents; easy on the flames.
     

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