Well, I have a confession to make. I live in a gated and guarded community. Some people think we live in this community because we are rich. In fact the opposite is true. If I were truly rich, I could afford to purchase enough land to give me a buffer. Alas, I cannot. So the next best thing is a gated community that provides the same land use values I hold dear.
My community is almost 40 years old, ancient for a gated mountain community. It is four thousand acres and more than 50 miles of paved road. Green space between lots is owned by the Property Owners Association (POA), as are the facilities and amenities. Yes, we have a clubhouse and a golf course. But we also have a bluebird club that builds and maintains bluebird houses all over the golf course. The golf facilities are increasingly subsidized by the POA because more and more of the residents are hikers and fewer and fewer are golfers.
My community has very strict land-use regulations that some people would not want to live with. We have no problem, because the regulations mirror our own environmental concerns.
So why, you may ask, do you need a buffer? The answer is quite simple. Transylvania County has NO county-wide zoning restrictions. The idea is that "a man can do what he wants to do with his own property." There is nothing to prohibit your neighbor from opening a loud honky tonk, or a dirt bike rally, or a garage. Almost as important, there is nothing to prohibit the junk he may accumulate in his yard.
Here are a few snapshots of people I don't want for neighbors:
So I live in a gated community. Where else can I go less than a mile and watch the hazy mountains come to life? This view from a byway near one of the trail heads.