It seems some of the owners have stretched to buy into these large homes and lacked the budgets to make the properties complete with landscaping and hardscaping consistent with the size of these houses.
And the hard reality is that Black Rock is an example of a "McMansion" development that is getting a harsh re-valuation from its pre-2008 highs, especially in places where location isn't commanding premium prices, and Black Rock really isn't in a premium location. Some owners are under water and will probably remain there. Despite the ten years or so the development has existed, there is still there an unfinished quality with few trees, no sidewalks (a peeve, and worse a low-budget storm drainage plan that uses swale and culvert over proper under-street storm drains, unfortunate in a supposedly high-end development.)
If you think about what qualities make for a premium neighborhood, besides municipal amenities, consideration given to siting of the houses, respect for the aesthetic advantages of the location, taking advantages of views, light, design of greenswards within the plan to break up the monotony of side-by side properties, mixing both house designs and materials to create variety, sidewalks, street plans that afford attractive street frontage without sacrificing privacy, adequate street width, sidewalks and street lighting, Black Rock Estates fails pretty badly on nearly all these measures. The landscape undulates, but the houses are monotonously all facing the streets with the same setbacks, in a way that suggests this little more than the same grade of planning found in much lower-priced developments. There are houses placed on backlots, facing the backs of the houses in front, which is an odd and unfortunate decision, and shows how little thought or expense was taken to develop a road plan that matched the price points. Neighboring developments have done a much better job of this, and it shows. The overall impression of Black Rock is that it was developed to place as many oversized red-bricked houses in a cornfield as could fit. It is the place to go if you want to cube-out on a newer house, but not really if you want to do so tastefully.
The overall effect is an under-landscaped, overbuilt (gaudily), and at the same time monotonous. Sad really, when the potential for better surely was there. The place seems empty much of the time, eerily so.
I have learned recently that undeveloped parcels behind Black Rock Estates are planned for very different kinds of housing, lower-priced and the roads to these developments will extend from Black Rock's street plan, which will add traffic; something the residents there will likely not appreciate (never mind adding to general congestion on Mt. Aetna Rd.)