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June 9, 2006: Wilsonville Company Recognized for Farsighted Urban Forestry Planning

Approved Plans Include Architecture, Parks and Open Spaces for 55-acre Village Center, Construction to Begin Late Summer

Costa Pacific Communities, a construction company based out of Wilsonville, was recognized for its foresight and work with tree preservation by urban forestry professionals attending the 2006 Urban and Community Forestry Conference in Salem last week. The company was recognized with a State Urban Forestry award ("development" category) for its work in development and planning; particularly, for saving large, mature, healthy trees, and creating a system of parks and trails within the 500-acre "Villebois" community in Wilsonville.

Villebois (pronounced "vil-bwa") is a French word that translates to "village near the woods," and the Villebois community represents an entirely new concept in neighborhood development. Inspired by the traditional European village, it’s being built around the idea that thoughtfully planned communities add to our quality of life. The site incorporates 200 acres of land formerly occupied by the Dammsch State Hospital. Both native trees and street trees were incorporated into the new community.

"This award honors a developer who understands that people are willing to pay more for homes with mature trees," says Paul Ries, urban forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "It's great to see this award being presented to a company like Costa Pacific."

Mark Choitz, Right of Way Coordinator for Consumers Power, Inc. and a member of Oregon Community Trees, couldn't agree more. "This development project entails everything Oregon Community Trees strives to promote," says Choitz. "By building with trees, a developer can save money and time while increasing the value of the property. Who wouldn't want to live in a "new" neighborhood with "old" trees and enjoy watching newly planted trees become part of their surroundings? Costa Pacific sets the example for other developers to follow when planning to build with trees."

Villebois includes parks and natural preserves specifically designed around existing trees, forests and wildlife. "The community features more than 160 acres of open spaces - nearly a third of the entire community," says Associate Vice President Dan Hoyt, who accepted the award on behalf of Costa Pacific.

"We took the site and adapted our plan to the site, with an eye toward saving the trees," adds Hoyt. For example, Villebois Drive is the primary road to the central plaza. Although the plaza will not be built for a few years, working with Wilsonville urban forester Chris Neamtzu, Costa Pacific has crafted the road to bend around several mature Pin Oaks; dozens of large oak trees along the road have been retained and pruned to enhance their beauty and health. Pervious surfaces were also used to allow rainwater to recharge the soils and support healthy trees into the future.

Working with the city of Wilsonville, Costa Pacific is also incorporating 108 acres of trails, bike paths and bridges that will encourage Villebois residents to experience the community's forested areas and natural resources.

Additionally, more than 800 trees are being planted in an area surrounding the village center, to offer summer shade and support successful rainwater runoff management in the neighborhoods. Costa Pacific has also worked to remove non-native and invasive English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry.

Development is currently in "all stages," according to Hoyt, and includes 30 newly occupied homes, 100 homes under construction, another 200 homes in very early stages of construction, and 200 additional homes in early planning stages.

Costa Pacific received a Gold Nugget Award by the Pacific Coast Builders Conference for Best on the Boards Site Plan for Villebois in 2005. Costa Pacific was also named Developer of the Year by 1000 Friends of Oregon, and twice been named Oregon's Builder of the Year by the Oregon Building Industry Association.

Additional information:
For more information about Costa Pacific and Villebois, visit: http://www.costapacific.com/villebois.php

To obtain information about Oregon Community Trees: http://www.oregoncommunitytrees.org/

For information about ODF's Urban Forestry program, see: http://www.odf.state.or.us/UF


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