Monday, September 18, 2006

It's Nice to Know That It's Not Just Around Here

I got a kick out of a blog posting on DenverInfill Blog about the naming of suburban developments.

In Guide to Suburban Denver Subdivision Names, Ken Schroeppel has created a sort of cheat sheet -- Chinese Restaurant Carry-out Menu-Style -- for the naming of subdivisions.

Thus, we might get "The Sanctuary at Hawk Tree Crossing" or "The Estates at Silver Gate Meadows."

I'm often amazed (appalled?) at the names tacked-on to the multitude of suburban developments here in coastal Sussex. And I see a trend similar to that Mr. Schroeppel notes.

We have more than a few subdivisions with pretentious names like "The Enclave" or "The Preserves." Near my home, you will find Wolfe Runne, which we here in town refer to as "Wolf-EE Run-EE." That's one that shares with places like "The Meadows" or "Red Fox Run" another trend: name the subdivision after that which it displaces.

My current favorite (and I use that word advisedly) is "The Ridings at Rehoboth." "Ridings," I guess to highlight the horsey-ness of our area. Actually, the horsey area is a bit farther west. But we'll let that go.

What gets me is that "at Rehoboth." This "Ridings" is west of Lewes, out on Beaverdam Road and about 8 to 10 miles from Rehoboth Beach. Depending on how you make the drive.

Some of what is between Rehoboth Beach and its "Ridings:" West Rehoboth. Midway. Five Points. Belltown. And Robinsonville.

Of course, naming something as "At Rehoboth" or "[insertname], Lewes" raises the price considerably.

There's a development down near Bethany Beach which has a fancy, gated entrance on one road that is never open. It has several other entrances on another road that are not gated and are always open.

I always wondered why that was.

A colleague who used to work in the County Mapping and Addressing office explained that a development with an entrance on the one road would get a Bethany Beach ZIP Code. An entrance on the other road would mean an Ocean View ZIP Code. Not that the development would be actually in either town; the only difference would be that ZIP Code and which named post office would be in their address.

Ocean View is a great little town. But a Bethany Beach address is worth several tens of thousands of dollars more. Never mind that the residents use the Ocean View Road.

Perception, it seems, is reality.


miriam said...

I wrote something on this topic last year which might amuse you:

Mike said...

Cute post, Miriam. I can point you to a good history of the reason for "Hundreds."

Brandywine Hundred is the big-money address upstate. That's why they always tried to get the B-word into the names.

Nancy Willing said...

The "cringe" record plan for the historic La Grange plan shows that they plan to use the name for the development.

It was dubbed La Grange by General Lafayette himself on a visit to Delaware long after the revolution when he stopped by Dr. Sam Black's house and remarked how much the farm reminded him of his own farm in France (named La Grange). The name stuck.

The irony of the complete degradation of this acreage yet using the name to sell houses is more than sickening...

We in NCC are up to our ears in stupid development names, the more the asking price, the more ridiculous the address.

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