Serenbe is a 900-acre community located 32 miles south of downtown Atlanta. Home to the first hamlet to
be developed in the 65,000-acre Chattahoochee Hill Country area, Serenbe combines select principles of new
urbanism and conservation communities to create the next generation of responsible development. The
hamlet includes home sites, retail shops, office space, restaurants and unique amenities for a true live/work
environment. In addition, 70 percent of the acreage is being preserved as green space, providing residents
with access to a network of parks and trails for hiking, horseback riding and other outdoor recreation.
Working with a diverse group of community and national consultants, Serenbe Properties, LLC outlined a set
of defining principles to ensure the protection and enhancement of quality of life for residents.
1) Community & quality of life
2) Environmental conservation
3) Education & self-development
4) Preservation of open space & natural habitat
5) Music, arts, crafts & culinary arts
Serenbe consists of two distinct communities within the hamlet, which when complete, will provide 224
dwellings, varying from small farmsteads and estate houses to single-family cottages, townhouses and
♦ Selborne, the first community to be completed, is an arts and food-oriented community that will include
an arts center, destination restaurant and spa, bake shop and private residences. Diversity of services will
be seen in the live/work units - ranging from yoga studios to art galleries and more. Selborne’s first
residents moved into Serenbe in the summer of 2005.
♦ The farm community features five (5), five-acre organic farm lots (already working under the direction of
Serenbe’s agricultural director), horse stable, blacksmith shop and organic food market. Serenbe Stables,
which will house residents’ horses as well as horses for guests, will be completed in conjunction with the
first phases of Selborne.
♦ Development that is sensitive to and utilizes the existing topography; as well as protects natural resources
and cultural landmarks
♦ Development that promotes a sense of community among residents through high-density and placement
♦ Energy-efficiency: all housing will meet EarthCraft specifications
♦ Location: Four and a half miles west of Palmetto, Ga.; 32 miles south of downtown Atlanta; 27 miles
from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
♦ Size: 900 acres, with 70 percent protected as green space
♦ Developer: Serenbe Properties, LLC
♦ Construction Schedule: Residential phases I and II will be completed early 2005, with the first
commercial businesses to open by summer 2005.
♦ Lots: 224 single-family units including townhouses, farmsteads, cottages, live/work and estate homes
♦ Sales Office Phone: (770) 463-9997
Community at Serenbe
The goal of Serenbe’s founders is to build more than brick and mortar buildings – it is to build a community.
One of the defining principles of the hamlet, all aspects of development has been planned with this central
theme in mind.
Serenbe is more than a new urbanist community. The basic new urbanism tenants of high-density and mixed-
use development are evident in the master plan – however, the underpinnings of environmental
consciousness that conforms the development to the natural surroundings and adheres to the principles of
sacred geometry, sets Serenbe apart. This results in minimal land disturbance and a gradual decrease in
density from the town center out to the edges of the hamlet, creating a vibrant urban core in the midst of
acres of natural habitat. There are a number of features that add environmental elements to the new
urbanism formula such as: connectivity by pedestrian paths rather than streets; food grown in the
neighborhood organic farms; and a natural wastewater treatment center instead of sewers.
The community is designed to encourage walking, with sidewalks, cobblestone crosswalks, dwellings set close
to the street, and numerous nature paths and landscaped walkways. The amenities in the town center allow
residents to drive less and encourages connections with neighbors.
Serenbe is being carefully planned to provide a true live/work/play community from the outset of residential
occupancy. Community features include:
• Serenbe Stables
Designed by Peter Block Architects, Inc., a nationally recognized firm that specializes in equestrian as well as
residential designs. The almost 14,000 square foot stable is constructed of all local wood, with exposed
timber beams. The Serenbe Stables can house 20 horses, with half the space dedicated for residents’ privately
owned horses and half dedicated to housing horses available to the whole community. The L-shaped building
includes 10 stalls on each side, with separate tack rooms, wash stall and feed rooms to serve each side. In the
center of the building there is a mezzanine as well as a community meeting room and offices. A hay barn sits
to the right of the stable.
• The Serenbe Center for Arts & Culture
The Serenbe Center for Arts & Culture will provide innovative educational, cultural and artistic programming
for the community, the Chattahoochee Hill Country and the region. The Center’s programs will include a
media arts center for distance learning and digital arts; a clay center for pottery and local crafts; and a painting
and children’s studio. Programs will be phased in, with the first building completed in 2007.
• Commercial and Retail
A variety of commercial and retail establishments will help create vibrant town centers for residents and
visitors. The first two commercial establishments in Selborne are the Blue-Eyed Daisy, a bakeshop and café;
and StudioSwan, an art gallery. The Blue-Eyed Daisy opened in 2005 and StudioSwan will open in early 2006.
• Outdoor Recreation
The geographic location of Serenbe in the heart of the Chattahoochee Hill Country provides a setting rich in
natural resources and abundant activities. Trails for walking, hiking, biking and horseback-riding connect with
a future 98-mile regional greenway system, created in partnership with the PATH Foundation.
Sustainability at Serenbe
Sustainability at Serenbe is defined as a community in which resources are not used up more quickly than they
can be replenished and where minimum impact is made on the environment, all without negatively impacting
economic prosperity. The development of Serenbe has been carefully planned to achieve this goal.
Land preservation Organic Farming
First and foremost, the dedication to environmental Twenty-acres at Serenbe are devoted to organic
protection is demonstrated by the community’s farming based on principles of permaculture and
commitment to green space preservation. As the biodynamics. In addition to being free of pesticides,
first development to be built within the master- they will serve the community with high-quality
planned Chattahoochee Hill Country, Serenbe is produce and dairy products, while providing
setting the standard by setting aside 70 percent of its children, teens, adults, seniors and people with
900 acres as protected land, free from development. special needs with hands-on farming experiences for
education, recreation and therapy.
Serenbe’s design calls for construction that disturbs Wastewater Treatment
as little of the natural setting as possible. Unlike the Serenbe’s founders have opted to install a biological
majority of modern development, the community wastewater treatment system rather than a traditional
has been designed in keeping with the natural sewer system. This system, designed by Natural
terrain, so that mass grading is not needed. Tree Systems International, is the first of its kind to be
clearing is limited to only those trees necessary to built in Georgia.
make room for building. In fact, many of the trees
and native plants are being carefully removed and Treatment will happen in a three-phase process:
replanted elsewhere at Serenbe, preserving the 1. Each home has an interceptor tank where
natural resources for future residents and visitors. wastewater is collected, then transported to the
central treatment area through pipes that range
Walkability between two and four inches. This design prevents
Serenbe’s design not only preserves the natural major digging to lay large sewer lines, conserving
landscape, it is also created to encourage walking. In more of the natural landscape.
many instances, pathways and the community layout 2. The wastewater is pumped into a constructed
will make it faster and easier to get from one point wetland, where it flows through gravel and plant
to another on foot, rather than in a car. roots and is naturally filtered.
3. Finally, the water flows through a sand filter that
EarthCraft House removes the last of the pollutants. The water is then
All homes at Serenbe are being built by Hedgewood ready for re-use, and will be applied to the land
Properties in accordance with EarthCraft House where it can replenish the aquifer.
guidelines, ensuring that they will be healthy for both
our homeowners and the environment. EarthCraft This entire process takes seven to 10 days, versus the
House, one of the country’s leading green-building several hours that it takes to cycle wastewater
programs, sets rigorous environmental standards for through a traditional treatment facility. The result of
energy efficiency and resource protection. Building the biological system is cleaner water, reclaimed
to these standards will ensure that residents of through means that require less energy and less
Serenbe will enjoy better indoor air quality, lower supervision on behalf of the operator.
energy and water costs, in addition to increasing
Marie and Steve Nygren
Marie and Steve Nygren discovered the property now known as Serenbe on an outing to show their children
the Georgia countryside. In 1991, they purchased the first 60 acres along with the existing buildings. After
selling their home in Atlanta and relocating to Palmetto, the Nygrens opened some of the guestrooms and
established Serenbe as a bed and breakfast. Since that time, they have steadily expanded the business.
Both Marie and Steve have strong backgrounds in hospitality. Marie’s mother owned and operated Mary
Mac's Tearoom, a well-known Southern restaurant in the heart of Atlanta. Marie attended Florida State
University's School of Hospitality and Restaurant Administration before returning to Atlanta to manage the
Women's Commerce Club.
Best known as the founder of the Peasant restaurant group, Steve began his career with Stouffer’s Food
Corporation, starting as a bus boy and ending as the national director of sales and marketing for Stouffer's
Hotels. In 1971, Steve left Stouffer's to open the Pleasant Peasant, which grew to a corporation of 34
restaurants in eight states by his departure in 1994.
Active in their community, Steve has served as chairman of the Midtown Alliance (1982-83), chairman of the
Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association (1982) and chairman of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors
Bureau (1990-91). Steve is the current chairman of the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance. Marie ran the
Emmaus House summer program, served on the board of Zoo Atlanta, and is on the governing board at
Nan and Rawson Haverty
Rawson Haverty’s interest in community began while working as an American Red Cross social worker
overseas, reconstructing houses. This interest continued to develop as he expanded his experience to include
residential contracting in North Carolina and working as an associate Realtor in Atlanta before joining
Haverty Furniture Companies in 1982. Since 1998, Rawson has served as senior vice president of real estate
and development for Haverty Furniture Companies, one of the largest specialty furniture retailers in the U.S.
Rawson has also served on Haverty’s board of directors since 1992.
Active in his own community, Rawson has served on the boards of the Atlanta Housing Authority, Big
Brother/Big Sister of Atlanta, Saint Joseph's Village, The High Museum of Art and Create Your Dreams, Inc.
Nan Haverty founded Swann Services in 1988, a high-rise cleaning and corporate apartment rental business
serving clients throughout Atlanta. Nan sold Swann Services in 1996 and most recently established
Nannahbees Inc., a designer, manufacturer and marketer of assorted products targeting women and children.
Chattahoochee Hill Country
The Chattahoochee Hill Country
The Chattahoochee Hill Country, located 30 minutes south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, is 65,000 acres of
farmland, mature forests, and miles of tributaries and rivers. Through a grassroots effort originally known as
the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance, 40,000 of these acres have been master planned to carry out
sustainable development and conservation that will protect watersheds, preserve individual property rights
and safeguard quality of life for all residents of the community.
The Chattahoochee Hill Country (CHC) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that has evolved to implement
this vision. Its partners have grown to include more than 25 additional organizations, including The Nature
Conservancy, The Woodruff Foundation, The Conservation Fund, the Association of County
Commissioners of Georgia, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Urban Land Institute, the PATH
Foundation, Fulton County government and the University of Georgia. The organization evolved out of the
recognition that proactive preservation of the area’s rural heritage, creation of a community based upon the
philosophy of sustainable development, and the conservation of green space will lead to overall
improvements in the quality of life for all residents.
The mission of the CHC is to implement a master land use plan that will serve as a model for land
conservation and sustainable development. South Fulton residents, landowners, conservationists and county
government have collaboratively developed a comprehensive land use plan and overlay district that received
unanimous approval from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners in October 2002.
The Chattahoochee Hill Country recognizes that when properly planned, an area can accommodate
environmental preservation, residential growth and economic viability. The final master plan will become the
blueprint for additional growth in the area and has the potential of becoming a national model for sustainable
development coupled with green space conservation.
• On April 2, 2003, Fulton County became the first jurisdiction in Georgia to adopt a Transfer of
Development Rights (TDR) Ordinance, paving the way for many others that hope to bring this
legislation to their communities. The break-through use of TDRs increases landowners’ options for
the sale, or holding, of their property. Georgia State TDR Legislation was passed on April 22, 2003.
• Fully implemented, approximately 80 percent of the 40,000 acres of existing rural land can be
protected through the development of three high-density villages and scattered hamlets, disturbing
only a small fraction of the natural land.
• Through collaborative planning efforts, Fulton County has embraced alternative sewage systems.
This forgoes the need to bring costly and invasive pipes from urban to rural areas.
• Unlike traditional suburban communities, these villages will be live/work communities. Mixed-use
development will provide for civic, commercial, agricultural and residential uses.
• Working with PATH, the Chattahoochee Hill Country has developed a Regional Greenway Trail
Master Plan, which will create a mixed-use, non-motorized 98-Mile trail connecting four counties:
Carroll, Coweta, Douglas and Fulton.
President/Executive Director - Stacy R. Patton
Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe is an Organic and Biodynamic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farmer,
Consultant and Environmental Educator. He is presently the Agricultural Director at Serenbe, where he is
developing a 25-acre model farm based on principles of permaculture and biodynamics with the goal of
producing vegetables ranging from asparagus to zucchini; fruit and nut trees; medicinal and culinary herbs;
and a variety of flowers, including edible flowers.
The farm will serve the community with high-quality produce and dairy products, while providing children,
teens, adults, seniors and people with special needs with hands-on farming experiences for education,
recreation and therapy.
Farmer D’s agriculture career began 10 years ago with a simple quest – to learn how to make a sandwich from
scratch. Since that time, Daron has founded and managed two CSA farms in the past, Sankofa Community
Farm in Readstown, Wisconsin and Full Moon Cooperative in Athens, GA. He was selected as the
Biodynamic Rookie Farmer of the Year in 1998 and is currently a proud recipient of the Joshua Venture
Fellowship for 2003-2005.
Daron studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of
Georgia in Athens. He currently serves on the board for The Center for Restorative Ecology in Athens, GA
and is the founder and director of Gan Chaim, a national non-profit organization that develops educational
garden programs at schools, summer camps, senior homes, retreats and prisons.
Phillip Tabb, Ph.D., NCARB More Community Consultants
Master Land Planner
Phillip Tabb is professor and director of the Department of
Architecture at Texas A&M University. Phillip is a village planning Lew Oliver:
consultant and architect specializing in sustainable community design Town Architect
and sacred organizational structures. He received his Ph.D. from the
Architectural Association in London, his Master of Architecture from Natural Systems International:
the University of Colorado, and his Bachelor of Architecture from the Wastewater Treatment System
University of Cincinnati.
Landscape Architect for Village
Green and wildflower meadow
Peter Block Associates:
Serenbe Stables Architects
Consultant, Serenbe Center for Arts
Serenbe Bed & Breakfast
Serenbe Bed & Breakfast is located 32 miles south of Atlanta in the countryside near the small town of
Palmetto, Georgia, just 30 minutes south of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Although Serenbe
is within easy reach of Atlanta, it draws its character from the 65,000 acres of farmland, mature forests and
miles of tributaries and rivers that surround it in the Chattahoochee Hill Country. A land use plan has been
created to protect this area from over development and to secure its rural character and natural beauty for
generations to come.
A Love of Nature and the Environment
Serenbe is set apart by its connection to nature, from its location in the rural hills of Georgia to the organic
gardens on its grounds. In addition, the two newest cottages at Serenbe were built according to EarthCraft
House guidelines, which means that they meet quality standards for energy efficiency and minimized
environmental impact. Serenbe’s owners also make every effort to operate their bed & breakfast as a green
business by composting kitchen waste and conserving water.
With 36 beds spread throughout five buildings, Serenbe can accommodate couples, families or up to 50
guests in an intimate setting of various configurations.
• The Main House is a restored 1905 farmhouse. There are seven guestrooms and a common sitting
room. Six of the rooms are equipped with TV, satellite and internet connection. Interior designer
Smith Hanes has beautifully decorated all rooms.
• The Guest House is a restored 1930's horse barn that has been converted into a three bedroom,
four-bath guesthouse complete with private screened porches. The large living room has a cozy
stone fireplace with comfortable lounge chairs, satellite TV, video, CD and a full kitchen.
• Dogwood is a two-bedroom house designed by Marc Mosley and Ryan Gainey with a fireplace on
the screen porch overlooking the lake. Each bedroom has TV connected to satellite and Internet and
each bathroom has an air whirlpool tub for two.
• Magnolia is a two-bedroom house designed by Peter Block overlooking the lake. It has a fireplace in
the living room, and each bedroom has TV connected to satellite and Internet with an air whirlpool
tub for two in each bathroom.
• The Lake House has four bedrooms with private entrances and can accommodate larger groups.
Serenbe's property has several miles of trails, three streams and two waterfalls for guests to explore. Guests
can also schedule a hayride, a marshmallow roast around a campfire or take a swim in the pool or hot tub.
Children can hand feed numerous animals at the on-site barn with more than 100 farm animals including
goats, pigs, horses, calves, llamas and bunnies. Other recreational amenities include a basketball court,
trampoline, croquet lawn, fishing poles and canoes for the lake.
With seating availability from eight to 40, business gatherings can have the formal style seating of a
boardroom or the more relaxed atmosphere of a bean-bag chair circle. Serenbe is equipped with the latest
multimedia facilities including a 125-inch screen with computer connectivity, complete taping facilities as well
as connections for 12 computers in one room.
Serenbe Bed & Breakfast continued
Weddings & Events
Serenbe's property also offers a picturesque setting for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions,
company parties or any occasion. Functions of 50 or less can choose between several locations inside, one of
the many gardens outside or poolside. For larger affairs, the scenic estate can accommodate tents as well. A
200-seat pavilion overlooking the lake will begin construction in late 2004 and will be available in summer
The Farmhouse Restaurant at the Inn at Serenbe
In the early 1990’s, Steve and Marie Nygren converted a family farm and the sprawling 1905 white
farmhouse, located 32 miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia, into the celebrated Inn known as Serenbe.
Currently, the food program at Serenbe is going through a renaissance with the hiring of Chef Tony Seichrist
and the redecoration of the conservatory dining room previously used as the Inn’s breakfast room.
Located at 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road in Palmetto, Georgia, The Farmhouse at Serenbe will be open
Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 to 9:30 pm and Sunday from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Sunday’s menu will try
to recapture the feel of a family-style southern meal.
The atmosphere of The Farmhouse is casual, while still maintaining fine dining standards of service. The
menu will also accommodate vegetarian diners with seasonal dishes offered nightly. The small intimate
dining experience consists of seating in the main dining room, the sun porch and a private dining room.
Led by the culinary talents of Tony Seichrist, The Farmhouse at Serenbe is an interesting new project for
food. While many restaurants are focusing on fusing culinary genres and, in turn, increasing the problems of
obtaining quality organic ingredients; the Farmhouse has a chef’s choice menu based upon ingredients grown
on the Serenbe grounds as well as by surrounding local farmers.
The dining room in The Farmhouse, designed by Smith Hanes, has the air of a casual Southern farmhouse
sunroom, updated for the way we live and eat today. The architecture features a dramatically vaulted ceiling
with timbers big enough to have been grown on the original farm in the early 1900’s. Floors have been
stripped of heavy veneers and paint, leaving simple pine planks. The conservatory walls (all glass panes) are
covered floor to ceiling in a sheer plaid of cream and coreopsis gold linen on hand forged steel rods. The
sheers barely contain the room, allowing the diner to appreciate a full-on view of the outbuildings and barns
with a view of grassy fields beyond.
The goal was to recreate the feeling of simpler times while maintaining culinary standards and achievements
of today. With the combination of fresh foods and a calming atmosphere, The Farmhouse restaurant is the
perfect addition to the newly transformed Inn.
Historic Newnan, beautiful Callaway Gardens, Warm Springs and Franklin Delanor Roosevelt's summer
White House are all within driving distance. Six Flags over Georgia is also within a 30-minute drive while
Stone Mountain Park can be reached in an hour.
The Future – Serenbe Community
Serenbe Bed & Breakfast has the unique attribute of serving as the cornerstone of Serenbe Community, the
first hamlet in the Chattahoochee Hill Country. When completed, Serenbe will include two communities,
each filled with home sites, retail shops, office space, restaurants and unique amenities for a true live/work
environment. In addition, 70 percent of the acreage will be preserved as green space, providing residents
with access to a network of parks and trails for hiking, horseback riding and other outdoor recreation.
Construction on the community began in 2004, with the first residents moving into the community in the
summer of 2005.