by Molly Cooney-Mesker
In Fresno, California, a neighborhood of new stucco-walled houses is fenced off from an abandoned, run-down “parts” shop sitting in the middle of a dry grassy field. With worn board planks and unhinged doors, it looks like a prop on a Western ghost-town set. On the other side of the fence are shiny power-line towers leading to ghostly footprints of would-have-been stucco homes.
This scene in Fresno could just as easily describe any number of suburbs across the Sun Belt.
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by Jason Tobin
Town and Country, Missouri, is the quintessential setting for wealthy suburban living. Situated about 12 miles west of St. Louis, the exclusive enclave has long been considered one of the premier locales for the upper class of St. Louis County. Strict residential zoning and few commercial zones have made intensive development impossible, which has led to Town and Country maintaining much of its pastoral vibe. Not to mention its elite status. According to the City Data website, as of 2009, the average home was worth $840,811 and 56.5 percent of Town and Country students attended private school.
Town and Country was first incorporated as a village in 1950 and was initially a farming community before transitioning to a high-end, low-density suburb. The farms have disappeared and been replaced with white picket fences, but over time the topographic make-up has remained unchanged. An abundance of open space still exists. All this room has created ideal grazing lands for whitetailed deer. Considering humans are the only natural predator left in the area, the deer population began to skyrocket in the 1980s.
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