Ok folks, My family may have an opportunity to start a small permaculture village in a very small town in Wyoming. We currently own 8 acres surrounded by smaller parcels. The 8 acres is being developed into a permaculture education and demonstration site. There may be at least 10 and possibly up to 20 quarter acretown lots available surrounding this site. Each lot has water sewer and electric available and have, or will have, gravel road access. The fee for these utilities is currently $20 per month whether in use or not. Cost after hook up is based on usage. Taxes on the lots is very low. around $50 per year. There have been some homes built on some lots close by, and those taxes, depending on the size and type of home, are from $200 to $1000 per year.
The town has about 200 people, mostly older retired folks. Surrounded by large ranches. A small river runs through town. And two state highways run through town which connect to three of Wyoming's larger cities within an hours drive each direction. These cities have tech schools and colleges. There is an elementary school and a retirement center, a small store and gas station, a museum and a large hotel. The main line of the railroad also runs through town so there is some noise from train traffic. The surrounding area is rapidly being developed with wind turbines , and there are coal and uranium mines as well as the usual oil and gas activity. Within a couple of hours drive there are all sorts of mountains , lakes, and deserts to explore and enjoy. Denver is about 4 hrs. drive away.
The weather is pleasant in the summer up into the 90's for short periods but generally in the 70's. Very cold in the winter and windy. Could get as low as 60 below with wind chill and blizzards . So winters can be rough .
We are hoping to make a purchase of a couple of commercial lots for future market garden sales and have been told that the owner wishes to sell all of their other lots as a package deal. So to get the lots along the highway we will end up with many home lots that we do not need.
So we are thinking that each person would own their own lot to do as they please and then share in a couple of larger community lots and the farmers market setup in some way.
So I am wondering if there are any hardy pioneers looking for a fresh start or folks who would be interested in investing, in a Quarter acre city lot to join in our permaculture village dream ? We are not sure what the final price per lot will be as we are still negotiating but we believe that we can pass on a very low price in hopes of building a community. I would think below $2500 but I am only guessing right now. I will update this when we get a firm price.
In the mean time let me know if you might be interested.
The town is Medicine Bow, it is in Carbon County Wyoming. The population is around 270 at last census. As I said mostly older folks ,so the town could use a boost , we think they would work with new folks and alternative housing , permie ideas. They have been pretty open so far with our permaculture demonstration ideas. Due to the large number of wind turbines going up in the area the town has access to "impact" funding from the county. So they are looking at improving roads and hiring a police officer among other ideas. At this point the county sheriff is law enforcement. If you look at google maps you will see what the town looks like. There is a mix of trailer houses and full blown large stick builds so housing is wide open. The town has volunteer firemen with county backup. They also run the water and sewer, which is hiring by the way. As I said above there is a small store and gas station, a large hotel, a couple of small restaurants / bar, A mechanic ,some churches, a retirement center, the conservation district offices and a nice little museum. No HOA involved , all permits etc are through the city or county. There are many homes and businesses for sale right now as the older folks are passing on and their families sell out. So it seems like a good time and place for permie folks to move in.
Here is a drone video from youtube , taken this summer. If you stop it at about 1:48 to 1:50, on the right side of the highway , you can see the area we are talking about. Our center is the homestead buildings in the shot. Some of the lots are along the long cul-de-sac street and others are back behind the center and to the left in the large grassy area.
Wow, so many questions! I am looking into possibly moving in the next few years (Pinedale may not be paradise after all...?) so I'm exploring options.
First - will any livestock be allowed? I keep chickens and bunnies. The buns would mostly be in a barn or building of some kind, but I like having a small flock of chickens out and about.
Second - how does the town feel about alternative building methods? Given the wind & weather in Medicine Bow, I'm visualizing something massive & sturdy, made largely of dirt and/or cob.
If those two are a go, then a million questions follow.....
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
posted 6 months ago
As far as animals go...in the city limits, 6 chickens & no roosters, but it depends on where you are. In the "town" proper, that's it, but if you are on the edge of town with no neighbors to speak of, you could get a variance. I see no problems with bunnies, as they are quiet. Other animals would need a variance, which has to do with contacting neighboring properties. In the 2 empty subdivisions, there are no houses at present, and if no one complains, then it should pass. The lots vary in size. On the far west, they were platted for mobile homes, further east there are some with 1/2 acre, some smaller, some bigger. There was a lot auction last year, and some weren't even bid on.
As far as alternative building goes, the plans would have to be excellent, and the explanation of how the home works would have to be thorough, as the planning commission is unfamiliar with alternative buildings. (Also, no new houses have been built here for 20 years.)
Medicine Bow has great potential other than the wind and winters! Unless you have a greenhouse or good coldframes, the growing season is very short. Wind protection is a must for new plants. We have had nothing but positive support here, and the citizens are very welcoming of newcomers. It isn't a very clique-y town. Yea.