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Master Plan

More Than Just A Pretty Place

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Founder - One Mans's Determination

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The difference is unmistakable. The Village of Tannin, a thoughtfully planned beach community, is already a picturesque centerpiece for the Alabama gulf coast.

Tannin is an on-going source of local pride as visitors are eagerly escorted by local residents on street by street personal tours. Artists set up easels and photographers click away hoping to capture its essence. It is a favorite destination for many people’s daily walking regimen. While convenient to the many amenities of the surrounding cities of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Pensacola Florida, Tannin appears to be in a distinctly separate world surrounded by ancient weathered oak trees, glassy ponds, native carpets of reindeer moss and masses of fragrant rosemary. Located between the sparkling beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the enchanted forest of a large state park, Tannin has been meticulously designed to embellish what nature has so generously provided.

Tannin is a true New Urban community that is based on the principals of traditional neighborhood design. Tannin accommodates the automobile yet is designed on a pedestrian scale where walking and speaking distances prevail.

One can enjoy the simple act of leisurely walking down the street – not for the arduous task of exercise but for the sheer pleasure of the experiences that you will encounter along the way. With careful attention to the design of the public realm, the streets become a more enjoyable and safer place for people to walk or bicycle.

Narrow, subtly patterned brick streets make walking the preferred mode of transportation. Houses and buildings sitting closer to the streets allows for a sense of scale and enclosure that make the pedestrian feel more comfortable and make the streets feel more like “outdoor rooms.” On street parking also contributes to the feel of streets being “enclosed” and add greatly to the security of children playing in front yards. Streetlights are built to “human scale” and designed to preserve the view of the night sky instead of towering above the roads with blinding light. Streets often end in a “visual terminus”, a place where the eye stops and registers a memorable vision such as a monument, a pleasant curve or a significant landscape. Building height, setbacks and spacing define the streets, squares and open areas that comprise the community’s public realm. The uses of buildings and their relationships to each other affect the activity and vitality of the Tannin community. Meaningful destinations such as nearby stores and civic buildings are scattered throughout the village and provide familiar landmarks for pedestrians. The post office, the pool, the beach or the Town Center with its stores –the distance between destinations is no more than an easy five minute walk. Walking through the village also gives residents the opportunity to encounter and visit with other villagers along the way.

Garages are moved to the rear of yards, once again giving front porches a place of prominence. Front porches not only provide a great space to savor the outdoors, they increase the opportunities for daily interaction among neighbors and contribute to the overall sense of community. Getting to know your neighbors as a natural part of daily living lessens the sense of isolation so often found in today’s large, modern subdivisions and gives residents a greater sense of community and security.

Tannin achieves true character by developing a distinct and unique identity while remaining authentic to the history, traditions and customs of the region. There are special places that simply feel good to be in and around even though you may not be certain why it feels that way. These places with character appear to have grown naturally and gradually out of the landscape. They offer an unmistakable sensory richness.

However, there are specific, definable traits that interact to make these special places feel good. Many traditions are taken into consideration to create a new place that feels good. The focus is on the quality and durability of building materials and the proper configuration of such external elements as the depth of porches, the pitch of roofs, height of buildings and size of streets.