REAL ESTATE- ON THE BLOCK- <span class="s1">Peacock Hill: A full-feathered development</span>
ADDRESS: 265 Turkey Ridge Road
NEIGHBORHOOD: Peacock Hill
COUNTY ASSESSMENT: $341,900
YEAR BUILT: 1993
SIZE: 2,297 fin. sq. ft.
LAND: 0.25 acre
CURB APPEAL: 8 out of 10
LISTED BY: Marjorie Adam of RE/MAX Assured Properties
In the 1970s, long before the building boom, developer Frank Smith bought up a 500-acre farm in what must have once been considered the boonies and set about designing and constructing Peacock Hill. Having withstood the test of time, Peacock Hill remains one of the more pleasant enclaves surrounding Charlottesville. The main road twists and turns, forcing one to drop to a reasonable speed. Good thing, because it makes the subdivision a place where residents (both human and canine) can amble unperturbed by careless drivers.
The houses are relatively tight-knit, but not in an annoying way. Interesting use of angles and trees keeps the neighbors close but not too close. Built below street level, this structure is barely visible from the driveway. An almost jungle-like trip across a bridge is required to reach the front door (actually a side door). Since it's made of Trex decking, a reclaimed wood and plastic composite, owners need not worry about the bridge giving way beneath them or about splinters, moisture, insects, rotting, staining, or even traction in the rain.
The lofty impression continues inside. Entering at the second floor, one looks down through five marble-wallpapered pillars onto the main family room below. The foyer also includes a coat closet and half bath. Since the house is a split-level, the upstairs/downstairs flights dictate the traffic. Downstairs, a family room with cathedral ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, and wall of windows facing the back yard is spacious and inviting.
The dining room, on the other side of the fireplace, is of ample proportions. A dividing wall, with indents for displaying pottery or objets d'art, creates interest in what in most houses is a rectangular box with a hideous hanging light over the place where the table must go.
The kitchen is wide open, with many more of those half-pillars sectioning the space. Although a little dark, plenty of light elsewhere motivates one to get out of there (unless, of course, one is a species of bat). But there's also a well-lit and sky-lighted room with a very private garden view (under bridge level) that could be the perfect spot for coffee-calmed musing. The feeling of being below ground level is slightly disorienting, though, reminiscent of aquariums where bewildered fish peer at visitors through the glass. One half expects a dolphin to float by.
Back through the house and up several little runs of stairs, the first level offers two medium-sized bedrooms and a full bath. Nothing fancy, but plenty of room to keep children (or guests) comfortable.
Another set of steps leads to the next level with quite a bit of space: a sitting area (or perhaps an office nook), laundry room, and a well-thought-out cedar linen closet. More pillars for walls up here; peeking through them gives a telescopic view of the family room below. No hiding places.
More steps up to the master level where the bedroom has a soapstone surround fireplace that must add intimate charm to a frosty night. The master bath pulls out all the stops with marble tile around the whirlpool tub, separate shower, and dual sinks. The house is grand without being extravagant, cozy while not claustrophobic.
Every window has green views, adding to the sense of privacy almost nonexistent in many modern suburban developments. The back deck looks out onto a relatively flat green yard and a wooded communal area.
Of the 180 home sites in Peacock Hill, 164 are developed. A hundred acres of the original farm have been left as common areas for residents. Nearly five years ago, Peacock Hill made headlines when many of its residents' wells dried up. Since then, however, according to the agent, new wells have been dug, and residents fared well (!) during a more recent water scare. While County planners don't seem interested in rewarding this rural-area development with public water, it has rewarded itself with such amenities as walking trails, tennis courts, and a five-acre lake– all within a 12-minute drive of downtown.
But the most persuasive element is a visit to the site. On each trip down Turkey Ridge Road, visitors see someone out walking, gardening, or just hobnobbing with neighbors. Since the neighborhood is always a big part of any deal, it's important to note that this seems like a pretty nice one.
Photos courtesy of the agent