Goodbye, D.C. Hello, neighborly neighbors.

In 2016, John and Jackie Risnear said so long to the fast pace and brutal traffic of Washington, D.C. And to all the suburban neighbors they never actually met. “We didn’t even know the neighbors next door to us,” says Jackie. “One time our dog got loose and into our neighbor’s yard. When I knocked on the door, he opened it, handed me my dog, and shut the door in my face.” Now, fast forward to their move-in day at Stonebridge. That very first night, neighbors invited them over for dinner and an evening of board games. This welcoming vibe has grown even stronger as more people moved onto the block. And it’s the Risnear’s favorite aspect of living in Stonebridge. “Our neighbors here are awesome, awesome, awesome,” Jackie says.

“We could have lived anywhere in the country.”

Serving in the military opens your eyes to endless options out there in the big, wide world. John was stationed last at the Pentagon, and when he retired from the Air Force, he and Jackie knew it was time to move—but where? “We could have lived anywhere in the country,” says Jackie. “But we have always loved Colorado and the people. We also wanted a neighborhood where families would wave to you,” she adds with a laugh. From 2006-2011, John had been stationed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and lived in Falcon. The relaxed, small-town feel lured him back. He says, “It seemed like the best place I’d lived during my whole career.”

At first, the Risnears looked at homes a little closer to Colorado Springs, “but all the communities seemed crammed together like a giant sea of houses,” says John. They were working with builder Covington Homes, who suggested they look at their homes in Stonebridge. The couple liked everything they saw: the area, the lots, the mountain views, the trails, the rec center. To them, the location was ideal. John explains that “you get a feeling of separation from Colorado Springs’ hustle and bustle. Here, you can relax and slow down. It feels like a little town, not a big metropolis.” But still, Stonebridge lies not too far from the city when they need it. Or from John’s work as a contractor at Schriever Air Force Base. When the Risnears saw their future homesite’s Pikes Peak views and access to beautiful open space, they knew instantly that they were home.

A neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood

Stonebridge is an intimate enclave at the heart of Meridian Ranch, offering residents the chance to maximize the already small-town vibe. It will have its own community garden—a perfect place for chatting and sharing zucchini bread recipes—and The Lodge, a new clubhouse exclusive to Stonebridge residents. The 10,000-square-foot facility includes a fitness room; craft room; kitchen, patio and gathering rooms perfect for parties and club meetings; and a game room with board games and pool table. (Which the Risnears plan to put to fine use with sons Keegan, 12, and John, 4.)

Of course, the rest of Meridian Ranch is theirs to enjoy too. They can stroll or bike over to a 42,000-square-foot rec center with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and enroll the boys in sports leagues ranging from karate to lacrosse. Then there’s the award-winning Antler Creek Golf Course, directly behind the Risnear’s home. A neighborhood restaurant, the CreekView Grill. Highly ranked schools they can walk to. And miles of trails to explore while enjoying Rocky Mountain views. In fact, the Risnears can often be found walking their dog on a trail that connects directly to their street.

Besides a neighborhood they love, they’ve found their “dream home,” says Jackie—one with a main floor master bedroom that offers mountain views, bedrooms upstairs for the boys and a three-car garage. And, of course, its location on a block where everyone knows everyone and newcomers always receive a “welcome home” dinner. (The Risnears have paid it forward to other newbies, too.) “I always wanted the kind of neighbors where you can say, ‘hey, I have an emergency, can you watch my child?’ This is a dream come true.” says Jackie.

Stonebridge really is a long way from D.C.—in more ways than one.

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