How to Create an Empty Neighborhood Without the AnyGameStarter
Special Procedure for people who cannot use the AnyGameStarter.
If you can use the AnyGameStarter, please ignore this post. The AnyGameStarter is a much simpler approach.
If you cannot use the AnyGameStarter, then you will have to disable the creation of sims and subhoods manually. The procedure is basically the same as in post #10 above; we just temporarily rename the folders so that the game cannot find them.
1) You must disable the base game neighborhoods by renaming
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
This will prevent the game from adding the standard set of sims to your new neighborhood. If your game is not installed in the standard location, look for N001 in your installation directory and rename its parent directory.
2) You will have to disable all of your stealth neighborhoods by renaming NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth for all of the EPs which have been installed. Here are the standard locations of the stealth neighborhoods. If your games are not installed in the standard locations, look for the names of the individual stealth hoods:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Pets\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Seasons\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\G002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Apartment Life\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\E002
3) Bon Voyage is a special case, since the NeighborhoodTemplate folder contains both the shipped vacation destinations and a stealth neighborhood. You can either rename the entire NeighborhoodTemplate directory to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth, which will make your vacation destinations temporarily unavailable, or you can create a new NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth folder and move the stealth neighborhood to that new folder temporarily. Here is the standard location of the stealth neighborhood:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\V001
4) Run the game.
5) At this point, you should be able to create your empty neighborhood using the standard tutorial, starting with step 1F) in post #3.
Note: Be sure to restore the folder names after your empty neighborhood has been created.
If you find that sims or subhoods are being automatically added when you create the empty neighborhood, please let me know and I'll try to find a solution.