FEATURE ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM, 3-29-00, By Dan Harkins
"Scaletta Development receives honors
AVON -- Joe Scaletta said the fistful of awards he was given recently for his conservation community off Detroit Road are all the more special because its winding streets and orderly layout were carved from 146 acres of his own hometown.
Scaletta Development Corp. received at least nine awards in recent months for Avenbury Lakes, an adult neighborhood with 349 cluster homes, a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse and nearly 45 percent of the land kept as open space.
The awards come from the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland and the North Coast Building Industry Association and include both associations' top award for the best condominium or cluster-home community in Northern Ohio.
Both associations use judges from outside the region being judged.
"I think being my hometown makes it more special than if it was a project, say, in Ashland," said Scaletta, who has raised four kids in Avon.
He can't help boasting a little about his accomplishments: "And we won more awards this year than all the other big home builders. And we're not the biggest of the big."
His project is one any environmentalist would cherish, he said.
In addition to woods, wetlands and lakes, Scaletta has planted indigenous wildflowers and meadow grasses throughout the development. Boardwalks and winding trails meander through some areas where houses cannot even be seen.
"In the traditional building code, we would've had to clear all the trees," said Scaletta's daughter, Jonelle Scaletta-Sear, who works for her father as marketing and design coordinator.
The community also features indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court, a community garden and a clubhouse that includes a putting green and card rooms.
Many people are attracted to a development in which they are encouraged to rove and meet their neighbors - one they can leave behind for months at a time and return to find trimmed yards and a blue-clean pool courtesy of the neighborhood association, Scaletta said.
"I think people are living longer and they want to enjoy their lives and not be a slave to their yards," he said.
The homes range in price from $160,000 to $250,000.
Scaletta got into the senior housing market more than a decade ago by converting high-rise apartments into condominiums. He later moved from high-rises to brick ranch homes when he developed Devonshire Meadows, right across from where he would later build Avenbury Lakes.
He soon learned that the environmental consciousness and community feel that was hinted at in Devonshire Meadows was what had attracted his customers.
He said he looked across the street and envisioned something even better. After spending 39 months before the city planning commission, the development finally received the go-ahead. Scaletta had a grand opening Feb. 14, and the development already is one-quarter full.
Mayor James Smith said he is very pleased with each of the half-dozen or so cluster-home developments peppering his town - especially Scaletta's ..."
(c) The Chronicle-Telegram