Developer hopes new idea will blend Hayden’s agricultural heritage with new growth
On some level, Ted Hoffman wants to blend in.
If everything goes as planned, Hoffman, the manager of Old Farm Village, LLC manager, will have built a community centered around a working vegetable farm that, he says, will do just that — blending in something new with Hayden’s agricultural heritage.
Hoffman has joined forces with Mountain Bluebird Farm, and the owners of the organic farm have plans to break ground on a new location in the next few weeks as the snow in the area melts. The farm plans to relocate to the property where Hoffman is proposing an Agrihood concept, where he hopes homeowners will become a part of that agricultural tradition.
“We’re really excited about this community and all the new changes that are on the horizon,” said Sydney Ellbogen, who owns Mountain Bluebird Farm with Noah Price. “It’s a cool opportunity to be a part of that, and we need a long-term home for our farm. It’s a nice combination of the agricultural heritage and the new excitement and growth that’s going on in Hayden.”
Hoffman said he will move forward with the development of the farm amenity, as it’s a use by right in the current zoning. He said that the plan includes many of the concepts already found in Hayden’s master plan. His plan is to move forward with plans to amend the old sketch plans this summer, and he’s hoping to break ground this fall and have homes on the market a year from now.
“Before those approvals run out, we’ll kind of reopen the sketch plan file with the amended, new and improved concept,” Hoffman said. “We’ll have to go through sketch plan, preliminary plan and final plat — there’s three steps there.”
The development received initial approvals with conditions from the Hayden Town Council on May 21, 2020, including a zoning amendment map that approved 5.91 acres as high density with 38 planned units approved.
However, Hoffman said after his late partner, David Turcotte, died in an ATV accident just weeks after getting those approvals, he decided to reconsider the development.
“They were three-story apartment buildings, essentially,” Hoffman said. “This is going be mostly two-story, single-family duplexes — it’s just totally different.”
The development, which is just fewer than 10 acres and is adjacent to the barn on the property owned by Martha Cannon, is located between Washington Avenue and Vista Verde Drive.
The property has two agricultural irrigation ditches, the Shelton and Walker ditches, run through it, and water rights holders in both ditches protested the zoning change. However, Hoffman said he is currently working with the owners of those ditches and is optimistic about how the proposed changes will be received.
“What we’re doing now is leading with the farm. It’s going to anchor the residential development, and be the main amenity of the property,” Hoffman said. “It’s kind of a new concept, and instead of building a residential home around the golf course, you build it around a farm.”
He said it will be a working farm, and he envisions the operation to provide farm shares to residents as part of the Community Supported Agriculture program, with residents picking up farm shares at the farm stand. The farm would also continue to offer farm shares to its customers and offer produce at local farmers’ markets.
The main access to the property would be on Oak and Ash streets. The farm would be 1.5 acres, larger than the current Mountain Bluebird operation a few miles east on U.S. 40, which grows produce on a little less than half an acre.
“I think that should be enough space for us to grow into the future,” Price said. “I don’t think we’ll need to expand any more than that. So it’ll be great and it’ll be a good fit.”
Hoffman said the plans will include more open space and less density than the old plans and should fit in well with an existing farm as well as nearby residential areas along Washington Street.
“Those entitlements are good until May 22,” Hoffman said. “I could still go forward with the 38 apartments, but I’m not going to because there’s a better product with single-family farm cottage houses and things the neighbors will like — and something way better for the community.”
Hoffman will be on site and available to give tours and share his vision of the property with the neighbors or any community members from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays in April. Those dates are April 2, April 9, April 23 and April 30. A project website will be available soon, he said, and an interest list is in process. In the meantime, interested parties can email Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-846-1031 for more information.
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