Tamarack Farm Estates is one of Lake Elmo’s earliest conservation developments. It is a compact community that offers rural character with strong neighborhood appeal while maintaining affordability for its context. In addition to protecting wetland habitat and natural stormwater capabilities, this development also puts emphasis on smaller lots. Home design requirements are intended to allow young families to enter the home market in a scenic, protected area that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Bordered by 50th Street to the south, the development was designed to buffer the neighborhood from street traffic by taking advantage of natural screening provided by rolling hills and existing woodlands. The developer retained trees where possible and planted many additional trees on the site. The developer also preserved much of the topography in a natural a state to minimize impact on protected spaces. The design maintained an existing bog and preserved a protected easement area in its natural state.
The design of the development also fosters a strong sense of neighborhood interaction. The central open space includes a playground that was built by the community’s own residents in a cooperative effort. Smaller lots and the inclusion of townhomes allow residents to interact with each other more frequently than a traditional subdivision might permit. A focus on side-loaded garages, houses placed towards the front of lots, and an appealing street appearance with wrapped windows fosters friendly neighbor interactions, particularly in the shared central open space and playground area.