Lizette, age 60, was perfectly happy in her Kirkland bungalow where she'd been living for 20 years. She had no intention of moving — until she drove by the newly built Danielson Grove community in Kirkland, Washington in 2005 and decided to take a look around. That was all it took: she was hooked.
"Linda Pruitt showed me a few of the homes for sale, and we wound up talking for an hour," recalls Lizette, a flight attendant who has lived on her own for 25 years. "Linda was so passionate about building a sustainable community that was environmentally sound on so many levels. That really spoke to me. Everything was exquisitely simple — from the beautiful Commons garden, to the solid craftsman homes, to the big front porches where you can have a coffee with a neighbor or just sit alone and feel in-synch with the surroundings."
All Danielson Grove homes are BuiltGreen 4-Star, and Energy Star certified. Homes save on utility bills through higher than code insulation, compact fluorescent lighting and efficient dual-flush toilets. Indoor air quality is enhanced through non-ducted radiant heating, low VOC paints and finishes, and completely organic gardens. Homes are more sustainable as they are located close to jobs, transit and bike routes, and use higher quality, more durable and longer lasting building materials. Additionally, Danielson Grove is a member of King County's Natural Yard Care neighborhood program.
The very next day after Lizette just stopped by Danielson Grove to look around, she put a down payment on a 1,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom two-story cottage all her own. "It must have been the right thing because I sold my Kirkland 'West of Market' home within ten hours of putting it on the market," says Lizette, who moved into her new cottage six weeks later. "It's funny; even though I spoke with Linda for more than an hour she never pressured me. The house really sold itself."
Now, two years later, Lizette is still impressed with way the entire community sees to have similar concerns about the environmental and other core life values. "We don't all agree about everything, but we do have some common rules by which we live our lives. For example, there are raccoons in the area and nobody ever considered trapping or poisoning them. Instead, one woman came up with a vinegar solution to spray at them that keeps them away."
What Lizette likes best about the Danielson Grove community is the shared value her neighbors have for each other. "We watch out for each other in little everyday ways, without anyone having to ask. I came home after being gone on business for ten days, and a neighbor had watered my fuchsias because they looked wilted. Another time, the smoke alarm went off in my bedroom and three neighbors came by to help me fix it: one brought a ladder, one brought a battery, and another climbed the ladder up to my cathedral ceiling because I'm afraid of heights!"