$8.5M pur­chase of farm prop­erty is con­sid­ered

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By An­thony Hahn

Boul­der County, in part­ner­ship with Louisville and Lafayette, will con­sider an $8.5 mil­lion pur­chase of the May­hof­fer Farm prop­erty to stave off de­vel­op­ment plans, of­fi­cials an­nounced.

The ac­qui­si­tion would put to rest months of de­bate over whether the 200 acres of open space would be trans­formed by large-scale res­i­den­tial growth and frack­ing angst.

The po­ten­tial pur­chase, ac­cord­ing to an up­com­ing Boul­der County Parks and Open Space Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee agenda, would en­com­pass roughly 170 acres, along with the land’s wa­ter rights, two con­ser­va­tion ease­ments over two res­i­den­tial lots to­tal­ing ap­prox­i­mately 17.40 acres and one re­stric­tive covenant over a res­i­den­tial lot to­tal­ing 11.88 acres.

Of­fi­cials in Louisville and Lafayette — the two cities bor­der­ing the land par­cel, along with Boul­der County com­mis­sion­ers — have long sought to pre­serve the area as open space.

De­vel­op­ers with Em­pire Road LLC last fall an­nounced plans to ini­ti­ate res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment atop the graz­ing fields at Colorado 42 and Em­pire Road in un­in­cor­po­rated Boul­der County, which drew a quick back­lash from sur­round­ing res­i­dents. The de­vel­op­ers could not be reached for com­ment.

The de­vel­op­ment had been dubbed Kerr Es­tates, which un­der Boul­der County reg­u­la­tions could have been sub­di­vided to al­low for five large “lux­ury es­tates” that would sit on plots of land rang­ing from 35 to 50 acres each, ac­cord­ing to de­vel­op­ment con­cept draw­ings.

In the months af­ter de­vel­op­ment plans were an­nounced, res­i­dents in the sur­round­ing area quickly mo­bi­lized in op­po­si­tion, or­ga­niz­ing a Face­book page against the un­known de­vel­op­ment and even seek­ing do­na­tions for at­tor­ney fees to fight the planned con­struc­tion.

Fears also abounded last fall when de­vel­op­ers re­vealed plans to sell a 5-acre par­cel of land to be al­lo­cated for a po­ten­tial well site for frack­ing op­er­a­tions.

The trans­ac­tion would pro­hibit the prop­erty from be­ing used for min­eral ex­trac­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Boul­der County Parks and Open Space Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee’s July 27 agenda.

If ap­proved, prop­erty owner Robert May­hof­fer would re­tain roughly 29 acres, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which would be di­vided into three res­i­den­tial lots.

The county’s share of the pur­chase price would be $4.25 mil­lion, and Lafayette and Louisville would pay the re­main­ing $4.25 mil­lion.

In the early 1980s, Louisville, Lafayette and Boul­der County signed an agree­ment to pur­chase the May­hof­fer Farm for open space with the in­tent of the agree­ment to pre­serve farm­land and wildlife habi­tat and to create a buf­fer be­tween Louisville and Lafayette.

If kept as open space, the May­hof­fer farm would com­plete the buf­fer be­tween South Boul­der Road and Colorado 42 that cur­rently in­cludes the Har­neyLas­toka Open Space, Aquarius Open Space and the Coal Creek Cor­ri­dor Open Space, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial city doc­u­ments.

“(The May­hof­fer prop­erty) is con­sis­tently ranked the #1 pri­or­ity open space pur­chase iden­ti­fied by the Louisville Open Space Ad­vi­sory Board and our cit­i­zens,” Louisville Mayor Bob Muckle said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day.

“It also rep­re­sents a key fi­nal piece in the openspace buf­fer we’ve been build­ing on the eastern edge of Louisville for the last 25 years.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.