Karen A. Chase moved with her husband, Ted Petrocci, to the historic Church Hill District, southeast of downtown Richmond, in 2010. They have no children at home, and their independent professions — she owns an advertising and design business and writes historical novels; he is a psychotherapist — let them live wherever they wish. They weren’t looking to get away from children; they were simply drawn to Church Hill because it fulfilled all their needs: proximity to Chesapeake Bay for Ted, a novice sail racer; to downtown Richmond, the James River and nearby parks; to train lines connecting East Coast cities; and to the nearly completed 50-mile Cap2Cap trail connecting Richmond and Jamestown, Va.
“We were surprised to find so many child-free people, or couples whose children had left home, living up here,” Chase says. “It made making friends with similar interests a little less complicated. Not everyone understands the choice.”
Only one household on their block has children. That’s partly because many homes are attached and have tiny yards that young families might reject as too small for children, Chase says. They’re perfect for people who don’t have children or who don’t want a big yard to care for,