Development proposal marries residential with irrigated ag uses

Silver Reef Organic Farms (formerly Grant Family Farms) northwest of Wellington is proposing the marriage of residential with agriculture. The unique approach is becoming a standard in Larimer County that preserves irrigated farmland but also allows for limited and low-density residential.

Silver Reef representative Greg Schreiner has applied to Larimer County for permission to develop 80 acres at the northwest corner of County Roads 17 and 72 into three buildable 5-acre triangular lots for single-family residential. The circular footprint of the center-pivot agricultural irrigation system will remain intact.

The lots to be developed are located at two corners of the irrigated land, where the pivot doesn’t reach.

Because it involves only a small number of lots, Schreiner’s request will be handled by an administrative process that does not require a community meeting, but goes directly to the Larimer County Commissioners for approval, according to county rural land planner Brenda Gimeson. Surrounding property owners are notified of the project and of the date set for the county commissioners’ land use hearing.

If approval is given, a final plat must be submitted for approval within 365 days. After improvements are completed and certified, the land will be released for sale and building permits. Other properties surrounding this area consist of 35-acre parcels and some smaller residential parcels.

Each lot will have a view in one direction of the agricultural land adjacent to their property and also a view of the wide foothills and mountain vistas to the west.

Schreiner said he is developing the land partially as a way to support his organic farming operation.

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