Economic Opportunities: Low Impact Housing

The Rural Planning Area Working Group hosted four workshops in 2004 to explore ideas for enhancing economic sustainability on the ranches. These include conservation easements, ecotourism, Wind Energy Production, low-impact housing, Wood products, value-added beef products, and native seed production.

The final workshop was on HOUSING DEVELOPMENT and was presented by BILL TOWLER, Coconino County Development Director, who discussed several options for appropriate development, including:

  • sale and/or development of choice ranch holdings such as Moqui and Ashurst Run;
  • development of a small number of scattered homesites as Heritage Ranch has done in New Mexico;
  • setting aside a certain percentage of the ranches for 40-acre lot development; and
  • transferring all development rights to a corner of the property. 

BILL discussed other approaches such as the “Colorado Model” as used in Routt County, Colorado where ranchers are encouraged to create smaller parcels than allowed by zoning with protection of a large percentage of the land as open space. He also discussed a process that identifies and protects areas of higher conservation value from development.