Begun in the early 1980s, Sweet Bottom Plantation was in fact one of the first developments in America to apply a planning approach with principles that would later evolve into what is known as Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) of the New Urbanism movement.

The Sweet Bottom Plantation community embodies the following fundamental characteristics typically associated with a TND:

•  Variety of housing types, sizes, land densities and harmonious architectural styles within the defined neighborhood area that establish a sense of place
•  Network of neighborhood pathways and streets suitable for pedestrian walking and biking
•  Inclusion of common neighborhood squares and green areas providing open park-like spaces
•  Narrow, tree-lined streets with a variety of friendly patterns for a pedestrian-scaled experience, including brick walkways
•  Use of shared alleyways with rear garages allowing more trees and green areas while minimizing driveways and limiting on-street parking
•  Reduced street light intensity providing unobtrusive illumination and allowing the nighttime sky to be seen, including the use of gaslights
•  Proximity of residences and porches to the street providing the opportunity for passers-by and residents to readily socialize
•  Variety of building masses purposely sited along streets to create visual rhythm and interest relative to pedestrian viewpoints and neighboring structures
•  Setbacks allowing a variety of aesthetic experiences from wide-open spaces to intimate, building-defined streetscapes and landscaped areas
•  Range of commercial establishments and recreation within ¼ mile walking distance linked by pathways