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January 27, 2011 / Linda Hartong


We were enchanted by this place that calls itself an Urban Forest.

The developer of Carmel, Frank Devendorf, started planting trees to stop the erosion that was occuring when the town was laid out in a grid pattern.

He planted all the trees that adorn the median of Ocean Ave and many more.

The residential Streets have no normal curbs or gutters.

Contributing to the village character, streets are rarely paved to their full width and often meander around trees

and landscaped areas.


Sidewalks make way for trees.

Homes are built around existing trees.

Trees even grow through the restaurant table tops

Sagging branches are propped up- not cut off.

And on every building site, the trees are protected by orange mesh

Walking can be tricky on the uneven surfaces and so the city passed the quirky ordinance that one is required to have a permit to wear high-heeled shoes. It is rarely enforced but you can always stop by City Hall and pick one up .

To help keep the village atmosphere, there are not sidewalks or streetlights. Residents of the tiny, one square mile town keep their outside lights to 25 watts for the entrance fixture and 15 watts per fixture on walkways.

As a result the night sky proudly shows off the stars and moon. Many people carry small flashlights to light their way home from dinner.

There are also ordinance to reduce noises such as gas-powered leaf blowers, barking dogs, loud music, etc. Natural sounds of surf, bird song and the breeze are preferred.


One Comment

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  1. Monica / Feb 1 2011 8:18 pm

    This sounds like my kind of place!

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