Admire the scenery at The Village at CrystalSprings
By Valerie Bannister
Tolland, a condominium community for active adults over 55, provides exactly what its name suggests: a neighborhood of single-family homes next to the site of a spring where residents used to fill water jugs and picnic.
The late Steve Amedy and his wife, Kathie, along with Bill Preuss, whose family owned the condominiums land, created a partnership and designed the community. It has the potential for 66 homes clustered on 30 acres. The rest of the 106 acres will remain a natural area where residents can hike and view wildlife. There are currently 53 occupied, single-family homes, plus one under construction, leaving 11 lots and a model home available for purchase.
The Village at Crystal Springs was named after the natural water source located next to the condominium entrance, says Kathie Amedy, developer and agent for the site. It (the spring) was given to the town of Tolland on a one-acre plot. The spring is pretty well-known, she says. Picnicking was popular at the site. It was considered a roadside park, Amedy says. The spring, which used to be accessible to residents via a spout, is no longer in operation.
Amedy is quite familiar with the advantages of The Village at Crystal Springs, having lived there since 2005, soon after the first home was purchased in 2004.
Two years ago, she lost her husband, and Amedy says that living in the community proved invaluable at that time. I love the people who live here. They were so kind when my husband died. I’m devoted to these people, she says. As you get older, you really need to have adults close by.
Even as she spoke on the phone, the call was interrupted by one of her neighbors knocking on her door.
Residents take advantage of the lovely natural setting to commune with nature and get a bit of exercise. Amedy says there are hiking trails on the grounds, which feature pastures, a pond, boardwalks, bridges and a gazebo. In addition, town-owned open space borders the property, including Campbell Peaceful Valley Conservation Area, as well as more open space across the street, which expands opportunities for recreation.
Buyers have the option of choosing from seven different house styles, with costs ranging from $319,900 to $374,900. Two models provide one-floor living, while the rest have an upstairs, generally used as space for a guest bedroom, full bath and storage. All the units have two bedrooms, two to two-and-a-half baths and a single or double garage, one step down from the living space.
All the models provide for one-floor living and accessibility. Daily living needs are available on the first floor, says Amedy, and all the homes have extra-wide halls and doorways, high sinks and toilets, and higher cabinet shelves. The covered front porch, standard on all the homes, has one small step, with the option of a ramp, and no step at the front door.
Besides a variety of choices in layout, cabinetry, flooring and countertops, The Village at Crystal
Springs offers the option of a 208-square-foot four-season sunroom, which means residents can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of their own home at any time of year.
Sue Errickson, a Tolland resident for 30 years, raved about her sunroom as she looked out her windows at a wintry forest scene. Errikson, who has lived in The Village at Crystal Springs for six months, says, It's a view I cannot stop looking at. It’s wonderful to have this space. She also enjoys hiking the trails around her home and the trails that connect to the nearby open space properties, where she has hiked for many years.
As she spoke, birds flew to the birdfeeder on her deck. A deck or brick patio is standard on all the homes. Both she and Amedy say that encounters with the natural world are one of the key reasons they like living in this type of clustered housing.
A warm gas fireplace was glowing in Errickson’s living room, ready for guests from her hiking club. The sunlight shone in from the insulated Andersen windows. The light that we get is beautiful in these houses. So many of us don’t use traditional draperies, she says.
Transom windows are featured on the first floor, which allow her to look at the stars at night from her bedroom. She called the bedroom her hotel room because of its large size, master bath and closet space.
The upstairs bedroom was large as well, providing enough room for her son’s two portable cribs for his newly born twins.
Errickson summed up her feelings about living at The Village at Crystal Springs: Its quiet, nice neighbors and the house itself is easy to live in. It doesn’t get any better than this.