Barlow Crossing Town Homes

Eighteen 1172 SF 2 Bd 2.5 Ba Town Homes located on an infill parcel that is a brownfield and in a flood plain. These homes are fee simple sitting on individual zero lot line lots. The homes have an open first floor plan with porches front and rear. Upstairs are two suites allowing for flexible living arrangements. Rear porches have a bike storage closet and small rear yards with direct access to the regional bike path. The goal was to provide a medium density “Missing Middle” housing type that includes two affordable deed restricted units in a resource efficient manner. Preservation of existing mature oak trees on site was a goal of the design team. Each home has it’s on personality. The common and parking areas are common parcels. The HOA is limited to the paved area and common thus limiting liability for the designers and builders. The community was completed May 2022.

Design Challenge

The parcel is on a brownfield and a flood plain. The previous use was a cherry processing plant. The flood plain required meeting the US Corp of Engineers requirements which included flow through flood vents that allow flood waters to flow through the site without adding to impacts downstream. The city required an additional foot above the 100 yr flood level which brought the finish floors 2' above the 100 yr level. This required all porches to have multiple steps. The site is adjacent to a riparian corridor and required all storm water to be mitigated on site. Additionally, there was a requirement for inclusionary housing of 2 units. 40% of the parking was required to have EV charging. Dark Sky compliant lighting was included on all paths and parking. Grading allowed all mature oaks to be preserved and drought tolerant landscaping is installed.  PVs are provided on all roofs with radiant barriers, tankless WH, heat pump mini-splits, energy star appliances, dual flush toilets and low flow faucets complete the energy and resource efficient design.

Physical Context

The community is within walking distance to downtown with a natural food market and the Barlow Commercial/Industrial District directly across the street. It is on a regional bike path and adjacent to a bus stop and city park. The site is on the edge of a riparian corridor. It is adjacent to a parking lot for an existing commercial building and thus the new parking remained close to the existing and the residences next to the riparian area around a common. The brownfield and flood plain issues are described above. The deep site is accessed by an EVA consisting of 2 reinforced sidewalks and invisible structures to provide a 20' wide access for emergency vehicles that is in keeping with the pedestrian nature of the community. These modest homes are desperately needed in this desirable town that has seen it's housing costs skyrocket. Residents can commute using the bike path or bus to the larger city of Santa Rosa 7 miles to the east.