sustainability spotlight

The Meadows

Spotlight - The Meadows Spotlight - The Meadows

California  |  126.5 Acres

The Meadows is a future master-planned community of nearly 600 homes in the heart of Orange County, CA, located on the site of a former plant nursery and a prime example of our commitment to conservation.

Land planning with community input: The Toll Brothers team conducted several meetings with residents of surrounding communities with the goal of incorporating their input into the land plan design. Consequently, we focused on preserving the nursery feel by allocating over 20 acres of open space, with over 10 acres set aside as a mitigation for the Serrano Creek natural habitat and the rest featured in seven parks and trails.

Design of functional stormwater features as amenities: At The Meadows, the entire 3.5-acre neighborhood park is located within a biofiltration basin. This dual-use provides the community usable space for a dog park and soccer field on top of what otherwise would have been an unusable basin. Advanced drainage and storage techniques ensure that the park is usable after storm events and is not affected by nuisance runoff from year-round irrigation.

The Meadows The Meadows Rendering    |    The Meadows    |    Lake Forest, ca

Detention basin and stormwater storage tanks installation: A large stormwater storage tank is installed under a central park, allowing for the upper part to be used as a great lawn. In addition, other boxes installed underground around the parkways and street edges are used to capture and slowly release the storm runoff into the City MS4 system and from there to the adjacent Serrano Creek.

Environmental benefits: Years of rapid and unmitigated runoff had caused major erosion and flooding downstream of the site, but the new storm system Toll Brothers is building will deter this threat by mitigating the flooding concern and stopping erosion and uncontrolled water downstream. We believe the storm system will deliver long-term environmental benefits by reducing the downstream flow post-development by 38%.

Reduced need for irrigation water: Irrigation water is a crucial component to every community in California. At The Meadows, the irrigation demand has been reduced by almost 20% by using the latest in Smart Controller technology. Smart Controllers use rain and wind sensors as well as daily weather forecasting to adjust daily irrigation amounts.

Reclaimed water put to good use: At The Meadows, reclaimed water is used for irrigation purposes. This greywater reduces the overall reliance on potable water in the community, thus reducing the overall consumption of water.

Incorporation of low-volume irrigation components: Such components as stream bubblers, drip, and point source irrigation help conserve even more irrigation water.

Use of mulch and soil amendments: Mulch is intentionally placed around plants to reduce erosion and water loss and help regulate soil temperature. In addition, upon decomposition, organic mulches serve as soil amendments. The type of mulch selected can affect soil's PH. By using mulch, Toll Brothers is able to reduce the use of fertilizer and irrigation water at The Meadows.

Use of plants to achieve higher water conservation and promote fire safety: The master plan features many CA native and water-wise plants and trees that are grouped in combinations with similar water and sun exposure needs to maximize water conservation and allow growth without disease due to improper irrigation. In addition, the master plan utilizes trees and shrubs that contain a higher moisture content and are planted in the fuel mod zone, an area where vegetation has been removed, planted, or modified in conjunction with an approved fuel modification plan to increase the likelihood that a structure will survive a wildfire, improve the defensible space around the structure for firefighting activities, and prevent direct flame contact with structures. Finally, Serrano Creek's Mitigation Planting is intended to preserve the Creek's CA native habitat.