Homestead is a considerably different housing area than previous developed subdivisions in Rowlett and most suburbs. The lots are smaller. The houses are closer together. Sidewalks are just a few feet from the front porch, and garage drives will not accommodate parking in the rear without parking in the garage. The theory is that such design promotes walking and interrelationships among neighbors. I'm not sure anyone ever proved that. However, "group think" among Rowlett "officialdom" seems to have decreed that the form based codes worked to provide neighborliness.
If you drive thru any small town in the North and Midwest, you will find 100 year old subdivisions with exactly the same design. In fact, I grew up in one. The design of the Homestead subdivision is not much different, except that the streets are too narrow, and some houses have no streets at all. They have a park instead of streets. Access to some of the houses are by alley. This presents serious problems to visitors of homeowners. Where do they park? If visitors are carrying packages, they have to lug them to the house from a couple of hundred feet away. Not good.
The whole North Texas area is growing by leaps and bounds. New people are moving in from all over the USA. The "tight" subdivisions such as Homestead are probably perfectly acceptable to our friends moving in from the North. They might be acceptable to people who like something new and different. From this point of view, Homestead is probably fine. However, we're in Texas.
I think the Homestead style of subdivision fills a niche for some people. Perhaps we should be pleased that Rowlett has a product that appeals to that niche. But the rub comes from "officialdom's" desire to design ALL remaining undeveloped land of Rowlett in the same fashion. That is a serious mistake. We're still in Texas. We have become accustomed to big lots, nice streets, garage drives in which we can park a pick up truck, and maybe a garden. That is the market.
I am a practitioner. I resent trying to make a real estate development into a college business course model. Models are fun, but they ain't the real world. Once you get out of college, you're supposed to apply what you learned to the real world. One of the things you learned was that models are rarely as complicated as the real world. Models are an academic exercise. They rarely fit the real world. I think Homestead is a model. I think we should provide Homesteads for people that want them. I also think we should provide proven product for Texans. One size doesn't fit all.