North Oaks Company’s development philosophy has been to preserve and complement the natural beauty of the area. Whenever possible, roads and homes are sited to maintain the natural topography without disturbing woodlands and wetlands. Winding roads, cul-de-sacs, the absence of sidewalks and the limited use of street lights all contribute to the privacy and seclusion of the neighborhoods.
Some 620 acres have been permanently set aside as a conservancy land — never to be developed. Another 220 acres within North Oaks are agricultural land, almost all of which will remain green space. Within the city there are another 500 acres of open space available for use by North Oaks residents.
In the 1990’s, North Oaks Company chose renowned landscape planner Randall Arendt to design the development areas centered on a conservation area. Arendt first designated a large area to be preserved. Then he grouped development spaces around its edges. Home sites are placed to offer the best views and advantages of living within a natural environment.
The city currently has about 2000 homes, with a population of approximately 5000.
The City is responsible for traditional government services, such as police and fire protection, traffic control, animal control, planning, recycling, licensing, building code and ordinance enforcement.
The Home Owners’ Association is responsible for road and trail maintenance as well as for recreational programs and facilities. All North Oaks roads and trails are privately owned. All home owners are members of the Association.
The Hill Farm Historical Society was established in 1989 to restore and preserve the three remaining buildings on 5.6 acres of James J. Hill North Oaks Farm. This site is a portion of the land used in the 1880’s by North Oaks Farm for its nationally recognized work improving breeding and feeding practices of farm animals, which played a major role in the westward settlement of the United States.
The buildings — granary, dairy and blacksmith machine shop — are all on the National Register of Historic Places.