The 'Niwot Buffer' likely to grow with new Open Space purchase


December 9, 2020

Patricia Logan

Views of the Flatirons and farmland would be preserved if the county finalizes a deal for 40 acres west of the Diagonal and south of Oxford Road.

A 40-acre property west of Niwot has been eyed by Boulder County for years, prized for its views along the Diagonal Highway and for its agricultural use. This week, it is being recommended for purchase as open space, pending approval by the Boulder County Commissioners. The Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) earlier recommended the purchase.

The land is west of the Diagonal Highway, south of Oxford Road. Some of it abuts the highway directly and a portion is west of the Kilt Farm on the corner of that intersection. The purchase does not include other land owned by the Chandlers, which is north of Oxford Road. The sellers are willing, the funds are there and it meets the acquisition goals of Parks and Open Space by preserving rural lands and scenic buffers, according to county staff.

The property is owned by Darrell and Geraldine Chandler, who will be paid $1,250,000 If the deal is approved. The 40-acre parcel also includes 20 shares of Left Hand Ditch water and .50 shares of the Williamson Ditch.

"This property has been a priority for the program for many years," said Sandra Duff, senior land officer for the county. "The location, the willingness of the sellers to sell, and the benefits it will provide for the community through the Open Space program is why this is unique." The land is also characterized as "an important piece in the Niwot area community buffer."

Duff said that if it isn't purchased by the county, the property could be sold for development for one single-family residential home. The property also qualifies for two Transferable Development Rights (TDRs), which could be sold for the right to construct homes in the Niwot area on land which is part of an approved subdivision.

If the open space purchase goes through, the county intends to sell the property at a later date, subject to a conservation easement, which would ensure that it continues as agricultural land. It is currently used to grow hay, any future sale would also need to be approved by the county commissioners. Duff said it would likely be a small agricultural operator.


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