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Green Homes Are So 2010: The Future Is Wellness Communities

Green Homes Are So 2010: The Future Is Wellness Communities

Kids in the community garden at Grow Community, Bainbridge Island, WA

Kids in the community garden at Grow Community, Bainbridge Island, WA

In 2000, Ray and Sarah Victurine bought a big house on 2.5 acres of Bainbridge Island. Like most Americans, they wanted space. With a 3,000-square-foot house and vast stretches of grass, their kids and dog were allowed to run freely.

But, Ray Victurine said, his family felt isolated. There were neighbors in the distance, but the car was their primary connection to people and places—to the world beyond their home.

“This is the United States,” he said. “People don’t just drop by other people’s houses.”

So, about a year ago, the family traded it all in. They sold the house and the land, and they moved to Grow Community, a sustainable development on Bainbridge Island, about 35 minutes by ferry from Seattle. Having downsized to a 1,600-square-foot townhouse, they are surrounded by people—the community’s 24 single-family homes and 20 rental townhouse units occupy just 3 acres.

Victurine said he welcomes the density. At his old house, he said, he spent so much time maintaining the property and mowing the lawn, it left little time for anything else. At Grow, there are no front yards and residents share the community gardens.

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