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|The LandChoices Advisory Group
Subject Matter Experts
Landscape Planner, Author, Site Designer, Lecturer
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Considered the nation's leading authority on conservation design. Author of "Rural by Design", "Conservation Design for Subdivisions" and more. Owner of Greener Prospects, a consulting firm that bridges the gap between land-use planning and land conservation. Services include conservation subdivision design workshops, ordinance review and site design.
"LandChoices is the first -- and so far only -- group to take this highly effective land-use approach (conservation subdivisions) countrywide, with a national campaign to inform the public and offer it to help communities preserve their special places: working family farmlands, forests, lakeshores and natural lands. Moreover, this technique does so at no cost, and is a clear win-win for the landowner, developer, community, and wildlife"
Mr. Arendt has designed "conservation subdivisions" for a wide variety of clients in 21 states. His site designs have been featured in publications of the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of Realtors.
Mr. Arendt's designs are "twice green" because they succeed both environmentally and economically. One of his recent designs was praised by the Director of Advocacy of the Massachusetts Audubon Society as "one of the most innovative subdivision plans I've seen".
After analyzing both the constraints and the opportunities offered by the site and the client's program for conservation and development, Mr. Arendt prepares a scale drawing showing the location of protected features, houselots, streets, trails, and stormwater management areas. (The latter can usually be incorporated into the neighborhood design as an attractive feature that also serves to recharge local groundwater supplies.)
Photograph of Randall Arendt by Mari Harpur
President & CEO
First Wisconsin Bank & Trust
Red Wing Land Company, LLC (Sugar Creek Preserve) and Keefe Real Estate
Lake Geneva, WI
Red Wing Land Development Company was formed for the sole purpose of creating truly special residential developments, utilizing the concepts espoused by Randall Arendt, which preserve and enhance the unique characteristics of the land. Developments include Sugar Creek Preserve in Wisconsin that preserves approximately 177-acres, over 69% of the site, as open space.
When I became a developer, I knew that there had to be a more respectful way to treat the land while also creating unique living spaces. Conservation subdivision design is the perfect solution to accomplish both of these goals and is the only way I approach development. More often than not, this approach saves on project costs and accelerates approval timelines."
The Collins Company, LLC, Highland Lake
Larry was instrumental in the award-winning communities of Highland Lake (Flat Rock), Straus Park (Brevard), and Peachtree City (south of Atlanta), and is interested in demonstrating ways to accommodate growth without destroying the rural and small-town character of our cherished mountain setting.
"It's unfortunate that most land development regulations disallow the very kinds of planning that most landowners, area residents, and new-home purchasers would prefer if only they understood the choices. With LandChoices as a resource, I fully intend to design conservation communities, whether or not they comply with existing regulations.
I am more than willing to endure the brain damage of showing local residents and elected officials how such regulations can be changed to allow development that actually respects our regional environment."
Jon Kohler & Associates Real Estate Consultants, Centerville
Jon Kohler founded Kohler & Associates in 1991 as an entrepreneurial real estate consulting firm specializing in representing high net worth land owners and investors of high-quality properties in plantations and ranches including the 75,000 acre A-Cross/Sanger Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming, regarded as one of the top three fly fishing ranches in the lower 48 States.
Jon Kohler is leading the region in "smart" residential development; the firm's flagship project is Centerville, the regions first conservation community and one of the largest developments in North Florida/South Georgia. This innovative development plan preserved 70% of the land as permanent open space, while meeting the landowner's investment backed expectations. This project received national acclaim and recognized by the 2006 Florida Legislature as a role model for development in Florida.
Ed and Eve Noonan
Edward Noonan & Associates, Tryon Farm
Ed Noonan is a Chicago-based architect. Eve Noonan is a marketing specialist.
This husband and wife team are the developers of Tryon Farm, a conservation design subdivision in Michigan City, Indiana that set aside 120 of the 170-acres as open space.
"Friendly settlements of simple houses surrounded by big stretches of woods, dunes and open prairie - this is the dream," Says Eve Noonan
Organizing Director, CEO,
First Green Bank
Hometown: Eustis, Florida. First Green Bank is a commercial bank that promotes environmental responsibility and green building through its employees and by offering lower interest rates for commercial projects that meet green building certification by U.S Green Building Council's LEED standards.
Ken went to college to move away from what he felt at the time was a "dreadful country atmosphere". Ken graduated with a degree in Management from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Ken's fiance at the time and current wife of twenty-five years, Cindy, encouraged him to take a job at a bank in his home county. Once returning home, Ken recognized the area's beauty and decided he never wanted to leave.
After working for 10 years in the banking industry in Lake and Volusia counties Ken enrolled at the University Florida College of Law;and graduated 2.5 years later. Ken left the practice of law after one year and returned to banking. He started Florida Choice Bank in 1999 and served as President, CEO and Chairman until selling the bank in 2006.
Ken is presently working with his father to develop a 15 acre conservation subdivision development designed by Randall Arendt that will preserve 40% of the land. He is also developing an 8.5 acre commercial parcel with the help of Randall Arendt and restoring his great grandfather's homestead and family machine shop.
"I serve as Chairman of the Lake County Public Land Acquisition Advisory Committee and I have been very active in local political races. I am committed to preserving as much of this special place as can possibly be preserved."
Murphy and Associates Landscape Design and Planning
Colleen is a very innovative planner who recognizes the balance between development and conservation. She understands the value of the natural environment to the bottom line and its impact to the quaility of your daily life.
"LandChoices is all about preserving and preservation. That's what is important to me."
The LandChoices Advisory Group
Action Team Experts
Sue is a Human Resources Office Manager at Butzel Long. Holding BS and MSA degrees, Sue served as a Human Resources Director for a variety of industries. Her current interest, besides raising two very active young boys, is fundraising.
An outdoor enthusiast, Sues experiences include trout fishing in the glacial lakes of Nova Scotia, hiking in Utah, camping in the US and Canada, and bicycling in Northern Michigan.
"LandChoices is a unique and much-needed organization. I don't think there is any other non-profit offering the same level of grassroots work to educate the public on how to preserve land for future generations.
Development is good, but not when land is developed simply for the sake of development. Given the choice, would I want my family to live in a neighborhood that is designed responsibly within the land's natural setting? Or would I want to live in a subdivision where all the trees have been razed to make way for dozens of cookie-cutter homes? For me, the choice is obvious. A conservation subdivision with mature trees and perhaps a babbling brook running through it would be a great place to raise my kids.
Remembering the days at summer camp I enjoyed, it saddens me that many scout camps today are in jeopardy of losing their land. My boys love scout camp and would miss out on life skills-building opportunities without a scout camp. LandChoices is working with scouting program officials to educate them on their options to maintain these camps.
LandChoices is one of the most proactive non-profit organizations and its cause is passion-driven by its founder, Kirt Manecke. However, it takes more than passion and great leadership to move forward and build momentum. Volunteers are needed to help get the word out and raise funds. I ask you to consider helping us protect our land."
"Big Camps" Lead
Ford Motor Company
Residence: Plymouth, MI
Tom is an avid outdoorsman and received his undergraduate, graduate degree and PhD from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is one of the leaders in our "Big Camps" program to help preserve Boy Scout, Girl Scout, YMCA and other camps nationwide.
"I grew up spending summers at my grandparent's farm. My kids don't have the same opportunity to have the types of summers I had. They get their connection to the environment through the Boy Scouts and YMCA.
LandChoices is getting the critical message out about ways to protect our special natural areas, clean water and working farmland. If we don't get the environment right, nothing else matters."
Auburn Hills, MI
Edna Stephens is the founder of EDCO Publishing. A retired Lake Orion School teacher with a driving passion, Edna founded EDCO to produce and create high-quality educational materials for teachers and children.
Edna brings this same drive to LandChoices and is very passionate about taking LandChoices' program with conservation subdivisions to the children and making it part of the curriculum in schools. Edna feels strongly that educating children about conservation subdivisions will have a strong influence when their parents are purchasing a new home.
LandChoices "Make it Happen" Volunteers
Frank J. Mancuso Jr.
McCririe & Cameron Attorneys and Counselors
Livingston County, MI
Frank is a member of the Livingston County Bar Association. Frank concentrates his practice in the areas of Conservation Subdivisions, Conservation Easements, Estate Planning, Business Planning, and Computer Law.
He heads up LandChoices' educational television broadcasts with Michigan Magazine Television and RFD-TV, "America's Most Important Rural Network", reaching more than 40 million rural households, many being farmers, ranchers and rural landowners.