A step in the right direction with Paulsen Farms
At the city council meeting on 8/27, the final plat for a new development, Paulsen Farms, was approved by the Corcoran city council. This is a relatively small development that includes some very positive elements.
First, it includes several outlots that are to be maintained by the homeowner’s association (HOA) as conservation easements. This ensures comfortable buffers of undeveloped land around the homes, which is a feature that will help to preserve a rural atmosphere at the site.
Second, the developer intends to improve the easements with walking trails and establish a native prairie environment with a variety of native plants and flowers. This will preserve the rural atmosphere around the site as well as provide a habitat buffer for wildlife.
Third, a portion of one of the easements will continue to be worked as farmland for the immediate future, again providing a tie to the area’s agricultural roots.
I was very pleased to see this development get approved. It provides a great option for people who want to live in Corcoran but don’t want to personally maintain large rural property and also don’t want a traditional suburban development.
One thing I would have liked to see done differently is for the outlots to be registered with the state as Conservation Easements. This is a different arrangement (note the capitalization.). A Conservation Easement is registered with the state instead of with the city or county, and is generally permanently dedicated as a natural space and cannot be further developed into homes or other types of property.
While the easements in this case are owned by the HoA and should therefore be relatively well protected from further development by the HoA itself, the protection for those areas is not as durable as it could be. As we work to preserve what makes Corcoran unique, protections should be as durable as possible.