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Old 11-28-2011, 05:07 PM
 
619 posts, read 1,388,864 times
Reputation: 336
We moved to HR 3.5 years ago and we love it here. Sure it has pros and cons, but for our family right now, it fits perfectly.

I've lived in organic, east coast suburbs and Manhattan. Both can be great. Both can be hellish. I can tell you that I will never again live in a "charming, older home with tons of character" until I win the lottery. Quaint charm can be frightfully expensive. (As can apartments that actually have a bedroom wall, but I'm not moving back to NYC until I win the lottery either!)

One thing I will say to the OP is this. Despite 8 pages of back and forth debating the soul of HR here on city-data, in day to day life, it's simply no big deal one way or the other. If HR fits, then you have many homes and neighborhoods from which to choose. Please don't think that living in HR is going to brand you as some sort of pariah. I can honestly say that this is the ONLY place I have ever experienced this conversation - and yes, I have friends and acquaintances that live in many different areas of Colorado.

If people feel it necessary to judge you based on what town you choose to live in, well...perhaps those really aren't the opinions to put the most weight on.

 
Old 11-28-2011, 07:21 PM
 
424 posts, read 657,047 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
1. People living in towns and cities throughout the US often have the attitude that as soon as they move to a place that is just right for them, it's time to lock the doors and not let anyone else in or around them.
I have always had trouble explaining to people that pro-active urban planning can mean that a place maintains its quality of life and attractiveness even though it grows in population. In addition to the "pull up the drawbridge" crowd, I've met a few other common (IMO) fallacies in my career:
A. All big cities are bad, but there's nothing you can do to guide growth/"progress". Oh well. No reason to plan. (Maybe I'll retire somewhere nice.)
B. I moved here from ____ because the traffic and development were terrible! But no, we shouldn't try to plan the growth here, lets just let it evolve and see what happens ...
C. If only we keep everything low density, things will be sort of livable.

Kudos to Denver for planning and the metro region for adopting Fastracks ... its a start.

Quote:
2. I haven't heard of any recommendations [against?] urban sprawl that don't imply that you are forcing people to live in multi-family dwellings within the city (like most cities in Europe),
I don't think urbanism is at all at odds with a variety of lifestyles and housing choices. The "New Urbanist" transect includes everything from rural to, yes, suburban, to neighborhoods like mine that are predominantly urban single-family homes (or on the east coast, townhomes) with apartments mixed in, to downtown Denver. A healthy city allows a mix and that mix supports transit. I recall laughing when I read of a super-urbanist traveling to Lyon, France and being disappointed that most French families lived in single family houses that they owned! (But they could walk to the store or a rail line).

In my entire career, I have never seen a project get turned down for not being dense enough, but have seen plenty of developers dragged over the coals for trying to do something "urbanist".

Quote:
3. The last time I drove along I-70 from the Colorado border to the Rockies, the one thought that never crossed my mind was that the "open spaces" were becoming endangered. I suspect I'm not alone in my opinion.
IMO, the open spaces that matter to us here in the metro area will be those that we can access easily and pleasurably - places like the Wheat Ridge greenway, the improvements on the Platte River, the various preserved parts of the foothills. HR was praised in its day for preserving the system of gullies as well as large parts of the original ranch as open space.

Plus, the front range contains a rare and beautiful ecosystem, the tallgrass prairie

Quote:
5. I'm really not sure if everyone understands that they live in the USA. In this country, if people don't want to live in the confines of a city and choose to live in a suburb, that's their right. If a builder gets permission to build a planned community somewhere and people choose to live there that is their right. So what if they tear down older homes.
But the Supreme Court has established extensive case law establishing land use regulation as a legit government activity protecting the public welfare. There are strong cases for preservation of nature and history, but we also need well-planned new development and infill development in cities.

We also need to consider that one person's "freedom" is another's impact - such as the highways that cut my neighborhood in two and create plenty of air pollution as people drive from suburb to/thru downtown.

Quote:
There are some negative effects of sprawl, but these can be reduced not by telling people they can't live there, but instead by better planning at the regional level.
Absolutely agreed!

To the OP - sorry we have hijacked your thread. One thing you've learned - Highlands Ranch, Boulder, and Colorado Springs are sometimes held up as archtypical examples of (respectively) suburban sprawl, liberalism, and conservativism. Don't let it bother you, and welcome.

Last edited by docwatson; 11-28-2011 at 07:33 PM..
 
Old 11-29-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,576 posts, read 2,327,410 times
Reputation: 1627
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post
A handful of noisy urbanistas will puff their chests and proclaim Highlands Ranch a cultureless wasteland of mind-numbing plastic suburbia.

But the rest of us--and, by "rest of us" I mean, the average Coloradan who probably doesn't waste a whole lot of time thinking about Highlands Ranch or any other city in the state, except for Boulder, perhaps--really do appreciate Highlands Ranch for the safe, family-friendly, clean, crime-free, church-going, scenic, and quality school-laden community that it is. And the numbers don't lie: people LOVE Highlands Ranch, they love to move there, and most people don't have a hard time understanding why.
I disagree with your assessment of "average"...it often seems bandied about to imply a kind of superior "normalcy" that others don't possess.

But despite my personal dislike of HR, your description pretty well describes the kind of people that will be most happy living there.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 12:29 PM
 
224 posts, read 197,175 times
Reputation: 141
A website worth checking out, if you have not done so, is at hrcaonline.org for the HR Community Association. It lists the 100+ community activities per year, describes/shows the rec centers, etc. It's a great resource if you are considering moving to HR. Also, if you need a realtor recommendation for the south metro area, feel free to PM me. (I am not a realtor.)
 
Old 11-29-2011, 01:09 PM
 
424 posts, read 657,047 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
... really do appreciate Highlands Ranch for the safe, family-friendly, clean, crime-free, church-going, scenic, and quality school-laden community.
This is really the kind of stereotype that has become unfortunate. My neighborhood is Denver is clean, crime-free, scenic with trees, old homes and occasional mountain views, and has quality schools and educated parents. It also does have places of worship if one wants but perhaps doesn't have the pressure to be "church going" as the poster implies exists in HR. And its an interesting place to boot! All in all a good place to live. It may cost more per sq. ft., but I save on gas and car upkeep.

The post almost seems to imply that those of us who live in the city are not "average", and are perhaps dangerous, dirty, poorly educated and ungodly!
 
Old 11-29-2011, 01:40 PM
 
Location: South Whidbey Island
1,757 posts, read 1,469,107 times
Reputation: 1897
Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
This is really the kind of stereotype that has become unfortunate. My neighborhood is Denver is clean, crime-free, scenic with trees, old homes and occasional mountain views, and has quality schools and educated parents. It also does have places of worship if one wants but perhaps doesn't have the pressure to be "church going" as the poster implies exists in HR. And its an interesting place to boot! All in all a good place to live. It may cost more per sq. ft., but I save on gas and car upkeep.

The post almost seems to imply that those of us who live in the city are not "average", and are perhaps dangerous, dirty, poorly educated and ungodly!
There are few absolutes in life. I'm sure Denver and many other cities have areas with all of these qualities. However, communities like HR or where I live in CA tend to have a higher concentration of like-minded people with those characteristics. Most all of these places cater to a more culturally conservative population. Notice that I said culturally conservative, and not political; although they are usually also politically moderate to conservative. I'll repeat, there are few absolutes. Nothing you can say about a place describes everyone.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 01:55 PM
 
424 posts, read 657,047 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
Most all of these places cater to a more culturally conservative population.
In my mind, "culturally conservative" is not the same thing as "family-friendly, crime-free," etc. and is not even necessarily correlated. True, my neighborhood is probably culturally open-minded (I wouldn't call it liberal culturally or politically) and that may make some uncomfortable. I have nothing again HR, as I've said, and have friends who live in similar areas. Rather, I think we lead people astray when we say you need to move to the suburbs of Denver to find a "family friendly" area, is what I'm trying to say.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 02:05 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,255 posts, read 58,470,182 times
Reputation: 19746
Quote:
Originally Posted by docwatson View Post
In my mind, "culturally conservative" is not the same thing as "family-friendly, crime-free," etc. and is not even necessarily correlated. True, my neighborhood is probably culturally open-minded (I wouldn't call it liberal culturally or politically) and that may make some uncomfortable. I have nothing again HR, as I've said, and have friends who live in similar areas. Rather, I think we lead people astray when we say you need to move to the suburbs of Denver to find a "family friendly" area, is what I'm trying to say.
I really don't think anyone has said that in this thread. People don't say that about Denver in general, IME on this board. The OP is moving here; her husband will be working in Centennial, and he liked HR. She was asking for opinions.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 02:28 PM
 
424 posts, read 657,047 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
The OP is moving here; her husband will be working in Centennial, and he liked HR. She was asking for opinions.
True, we hijacked the thread.
 
Old 11-29-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: CO
2,323 posts, read 3,834,214 times
Reputation: 2675
The title of the thread was "Is Highlands Ranch REALLY that bad?"

As far as I can see, starting on that note, it was inevitable that the thread would devolve in arguments.
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