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Just gauging interest in a possible Wyoming village/community

 
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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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 acre town 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.
 
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: Virginia
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Sounds like quite the project! Hope it goes well.

Unfortunately, not something I could participate in, but figured I could at least give it a bump.
 
gardener
Posts: 1594
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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What's the town? Sounds like maybe Fort Laramie but I'd like to know. I'm thinking about going back to Wyoming from Oregon.
 
pollinator
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Miles

How large is the town; how many people?

Who runs police, fire and municipal services?

What retail businesses are in the town (as opposed to the larger towns 1 hours away)?  Eg. gas, grocery, drugstore, etc.

What rules (laws, codes, etc) about building, manufactured homes, trailers, etc?


Sounds like a good project.  Are you thinking of some kind of HOA with the town lots?


Rufus
 
Miles Flansburg
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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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.


Link

Link2


On Facebook

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.

 
Robert Ray
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I remember playing pool in Medicine Bow, the bar was so cramped the pool cues were cut off so you could get around the table. Long time ago, interested in hearing about your progress.
 
Posts: 43
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
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Here is the Town Website:
https://www.medicinebow.org

and the facebook page above is incorrect. Here is the correct facebook page :
https://www.facebook.com/medicinebow

 
Posts: 40
Location: Wyoming Zone 3b
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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.....
 
Kani Seifert
Posts: 43
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
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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.
 
Miles Flansburg
pollinator
Posts: 4665
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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We are starting a greenhouse build, as well as lots of tree planting if anybody wants to help out.
HERE is the thread about the greenhouse.
 
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Hi there. I have been on Permies forums for some years now but never too active with posting anything.
My girlfriend and I are very interested in purchasing one of these plots, or two even. We live in Laramie currently and I have a good amount of experience with animal raising on a market type scale. Also have done much gardening and permaculture experimenting for myself. I have tools and work as a handyman. I have good experience with all kinds of small scale remodel and house construction. Please let me know if there is still availability to purchase small land plots there. We would love to get involved and be part of a community like what you have described. Thanks for any info.
 
Kani Seifert
Posts: 43
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
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Howdy!  There are quite a few lots available from private owners. Also, there will be a sale coming up (not sure on the dates) from the city where they will be selling lots they've acquired. You can give them a call to find out when the sale will happen. You can go to the Carbon County website to fin the GIS tax map with the owner information. This wouldn't be a planned community, but it would be great if like-minded folks decided to settle here. There is a lot of potential in this small town, and newcomers who want to live here are welcomed heartily. We are finding that if you can keep the plants watered, protected from the deer, and sheltered from the wind, that plants grow really well.

If you want to see what we're doing, you can search WyOasis in the forums.

-Kani
 
Geoffrey Sinclair
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Thanks so much for the quick response. I will definitely inquire with the city and also look up the owner information. And yes the not planned community but still like minded people sounds awesome. We are not seeking any regulated ecovillage type of thing just somewhere to own our own land and be able to interact with others in pursuit of sustainable and fulfilled existence. I've actually followed the WyOasis greenhouse build since earlier in the year and it looks amazing. That is very cool you have an avocado tree in Medicine Bow. Anyways thank you again for the information. Do you have any projects going on or coming up that you are looking for extra hands on? We would love to come and check it out and I enjoy working vacations. We have a van for sleeping in as well. Let me know and I'll hope to meet you in person someday.
 
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Hello everyone! Bumping this thread.

Wondering if OP was able to move ahead? I am looking to start farming in and around Laramie.

I spoke to an agent today and considered a property(raw land) near wild horse road. She wasn’t sure about the water and also said that there will be covenants/restrictions.

Which area is good for an Earth house and a walpini derivative greenhouse.

I came here because of the Medicine Bow/Wyoasis project!
 
Kani Seifert
Posts: 43
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
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Have you been to the area? The Wild Horse subdivision has major covenants, so check it out before buying. Plus, for the same type of land, they are expensive. Most everywhere out in the country, you'd have to get a well. I'd look carefully before buying out in the flat prairie. The winds are constant and strong everywhere, but if you can find some varied terrain, then the wind can be mitigated a bit. I think there is one earthship in the area, but I haven't seen it. If you have any questions, let me know. - Kani
 
kay vish
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Thank you, Kani! That’s what she said too and suggested Tie Siding or Centennial. What are your thoughts?


Kani Seifert wrote:Have you been to the area? The Wild Horse subdivision has major covenants, so check it out before buying. Plus, for the same type of land, they are expensive. Most everywhere out in the country, you'd have to get a well. I'd look carefully before buying out in the flat prairie. The winds are constant and strong everywhere, but if you can find some varied terrain, then the wind can be mitigated a bit. I think there is one earthship in the area, but I haven't seen it. If you have any questions, let me know. - Kani

 
Kani Seifert
Posts: 43
Location: USDA Zone 3-4/Sunset Zone 1a/in South Central WY
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Centennial is an interesting community, but it is high elevation and the growing season is even shorter than where I am. There is more precip. there, though (read, lots of snow). I don't know much about Tie Siding, other than there are very, very few people. It isn't really a town at all. If you are wanting a town close to the mountains, then, I'd recommend Encampment or Riverside. I lived there when I first moved to Wyoming and loved it. It depends on what type of land you want. I'm on the high desert plains. Dry and windy, but the land is inexpensive and it is not crowded. The closer you get to the mountains, the more expensive the land is. -Kani
 
kay vish
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Hi Kani...I was wondering if you can have any thoughts about water dowsing in Wyoming and if you have heard anyone finding water using dowsers?
 
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