Exceptional execution. “We bring all of the expertise, combined with multiple layers of well-honed management, so the client doesn’t have to worry about anything,” he says. “The client receives lots of TLC as we continually push ourselves toward greater levels of excellence in every area of the company."
Conservationists and builders can get along
Charles Ross Homes
The mild climate, cultural and recreational opportunities in Williamsburg, Va., make it a popular retirement destination. Most newcomers choose to make their home in one of the area’s master-planned communities. Unfortunately for developers and home builders, the majority of newcomers prefer to “shut the door behind them” to preserve the character of the area. Ironically, new development projects are opposed by area newcomers.
As both a conservationist and managing director of a residential design/build company, Timothy Cleary, president, Charles Ross Homes in Williamsburg, Va., believes a reasonable middle ground could be achieved between the no-growth position advocated by conservationists and minimally restricted growth supported by the development community.
Cleary was already active in the local home builders association when he joined the Williamsburg Land Conservancy (williamsburglandconservancy.org), a land trust working to protect and preserve scenic, historic and agricultural lands in Virginia’s Historic Triangle. He was elected to the conservancy’s board of directors in 2003, and in November 2008 was elected chairman of the board, he says.
“Throughout my tenure, I’ve worked both to alter the conservation community’s perception of developers and to ensure the conservancy is a rational and respected voice for conservation,” he says. “My efforts to bring the two groups together have produced benefits for each. The Williamsburg Land Conservancy now holds permanent conservation easements on more than 3,000 acres, and the development community can now point to a number of projects which demonstrate that progress and preservation are not mutually exclusive.”
River’s Bend at Uncle’s Neck (riversbendva.com) is a 350-acre community that includes more than 200 acres of open space protected by conservation easement. Immediately after the raw land was purchased in 2006, Cleary approached the developer and pitched the idea of preserving a large portion of the property and making the preservation a marketable point of difference for the community.
“By working with the Williamsburg Land Conservancy and agreeing to integrate open space in the design, the developer was able to gain widespread citizen support for the proposed development, and even a few concessions from local government during the approval process,” he says. “We’ve shown that with thoughtful design, quality development can occur while preserving the important character of the area, and we have a model process for future developments to follow.”