Success Stories

Balancing Development and Farmland Conservation

Loomis Farm, Conservation Development, Florence







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One of the goals many communities have is to balance development with the protection of important open space. Whether woodlands, wetlands and streams, farms or trails, creating conservation developments can be an important tool to create a high-quality living environment and simultaneously conserve critical resources for the entire town.

This was the case when the town of Florence worked with local developer Dan Christmas to conserve the original farmstead and nearly one third the farmland of a parcel of land zoned for residential development. The protected portion of the land, totaling 108-acres (called the Loomis Farm), reserves one additional residential structure is conserved in partnership with Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust and may be farmed in the future.

The remaining lands are now set aside for a 17-unit development, designed in a manner to be compatible with the conserved farmland and related views and habitat.

In creating this conservation development, the town realized that balancing development with open space (in this case farmland) is strategic in maintaining a strong tax-base as well as conserving its rural character, clean water, and community connections to the land.

As a result, the conserved Loomis Farm provides stunning views of the Mohawk Valley for the entire community as you drive by on Miller Road in Westdale. Pasture, hay fields, forests with a mix of conifers and northern hardwoods provide opportunities for agriculture and forestry. Wetlands and streams provide important habitat for a variety of wildlife.