Platinum Award for Best in American Living – National Association of Home Builders

This project involves 407 acres of land, designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Developing Area in the Sussex County Comprehensive Plan. This 913-unit Residential Planned Community (RPC), focusing on environmental protection and enhancement, was design to preserve over 139 acres of open space with 90 acres of the existing forest remaining for trails and passive open space. Through clustering and coving principles, an average 190-foot vegetated buffer was provided along Collins Creek, which serves as the dominant environmental feature.

MRA’s design included residential and community facilities, roads, stormwater management, parking, parks and open space amenities, timber bridge design, and sewage pumping station design. As well as, coordination of wetland permitting, and all aspects of County regulatory approval.

MRA’s scope included, planning, engineering, and surveying for a boardwalk and pavilion that links three distinct land bays thus allowing pedestrians access to the 10-acre centrally located community center, which includes pools, tennis courts, and putting greens. A separate marina, pool, restaurant, and bay terrace overlook the Indian River Bay flowing to the ocean. Walking paths and bike trails wind through the forests, meadows, and wetland enhancements areas link neighborhood parks, village greens, pond and active recreation areas with the residential neighborhoods. Ponds were used extensively for water quality, aesthetics, and to generate fill needed to elevate buildings above the floodplain.

MRA was responsible for development of concepts for renovation and expansion of an existing 20-slip marina facility along with evaluation of basin flushing and entrance channel improvements. The project is located in the vicinity of a very sensitive wetland ecosystem connected to Indian River Bay. Project requires extensive coordination with DNREC and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to resolve water quality issues final to development of final marina concepts.