Of all the housing options Dublin has to offer, probably the most popular choices are its neighborhoods of traditional, single-family homes.
These neighborhoods, built over the last 35 years since the completion of Interstate 270, are generally tight-knit communities where neighbors become friends. Some sets of neighbors have been living together for as long as 20 years and have developed traditions and annual events that enhance their quality of life.
We talked to residents of three neighborhoods in this category and learned about what makes their communities special.
Brandon consists of a network of streets and courts focused around Brandonway Drive, which runs between Brand and Dublin roads. The neighborhood was constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the homes are generally valued in the high $200,000s.
Homeowners Association President Christine Gawronski moved there in 2000.
“We knew we wanted to be in the Dublin area, and Brandon is such a great neighborhood. We ended up loving the house and as we got there, we realized it is a nice neighborhood,” she says. “The neighbors tend to reach out to each other and be very social. It’s easy to get involved.”
Some young professionals have moved in recently, and some empty-nesters remain, but Gawronski says the majority of Brandon denizens are families with children in third grade through high school.
In addition to a slew of annual events – an Easter egg hunt, a Halloweenie roast and a summertime block party – the community has had various social clubs over the years.
“We’ve gone through dinner clubs, book clubs, play groups,” Gawronski says. “They start up and they run their course.”
The neighborhood has also entered Dublin’s Independence Day Parade float competition – and come away with two wins. Though Brandon didn’t compete last year, Gawronski says the group is hoping to make a comeback soon.
“I don’t know what it is about the neighborhood, but … when people come in, they’re really enthusiastic. We’re really lucky that way,” Gawronski says.
Just south of Historic Dublin, Waterford Village is one of the oldest traditional neighborhoods in the City, with the majority of its approximately 247 homes constructed before 1980. Most single-family homes in the neighborhood are valued in the mid-$200,000s.
Karrer Barn, at the Waterford Village entrance off Dublin Road, is a popular site for portraits, including senior pictures and wedding photography.
Todd Hoitink, a 20-year resident and president of the Waterford Village Civic Association, says the community does have some of its original residents, but has a lot of diversity.
“In the last five to seven years, we’ve had an influx of young families. I think the neighborhood seems to turn over like that about every 10 to 15 years,” Hoitink says. “(The civic association is) always trying to plan events that involve the older adults as well as things that will involve children of all ages.”
An Easter egg hunt in the spring draws families with young children, while the late summer picnic in August and Fourth of July breakfast draw those of all ages. Before and after the Dublin Independence Day Parade, volunteers serve breakfast in Monterey Park, across from Dublin Cemetery. The group also hosts an adult mixer every October. In the past, the civic association offered carriage rides throughout the neighborhood at Christmas to view elaborate lighting displays. A City Council member judged the displays. That tradition has stopped, at least for the moment.
“December got pretty busy, so we’ve suspended it for now,” Hoitink says.
The group, which boasts a 40 percent participation rate among residents, is always coming up with new ideas for activities. Hoitink mentions a 5K race as a possibility for the future.
“This is a very friendly neighborhood. It’s very convenient to a lot of areas of the city … (and) to shopping and the Downtown area that’s being revitalized,” Hoitink says. “There’s a lot of pedestrian walking and walking with dogs on the sidewalks and a lot of biking, just a lot of opportunities in the spring, summer and fall to be out and about.”
The tiny neighborhood of Wexford Woods consists of just one short street and one court between Avery Road and Tullymore Drive – and the smallness of the community contributes to a closeness among residents, says Vickie Pifer, president of the Wexford Woods Homeowners Association.
“Maybe a third of us have been there since the neighborhood started,” says Pifer, who has lived in the neighborhood of 32 homes for 20 years. She’s seen children grow up and get married. Some families that had children when they moved in are empty-nesters now, but there are also some new faces.
“We’ve got some new folks coming in with kids, which is nice,” Pifer says.
Wexford Woods homes were built in the early to mid-1990s and are valued in the high $200,000s and low to mid-$300,000s.
The community hosts several events each year, including an annual picnic with a speaker to entertain the adults, and occasionally, firefighters will bring a truck for the children to explore. Other annual events include a progressive dinner, held in the fall, and a chili cook-off, typically in February.
At Porches and Patios, which meets once a month during the summer, the adults gather to chat on someone’s front porch.
“We’re just a tight-knit little street and a court that tries to stay connected and keep an eye on each other and our neighborhood,” Pifer says.
Lisa Aurand is editor of Dublin Life Magazine. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.