Highway 9 ranch offered for sale as conservation easement
SUMMIT COUNTY – A ranch that fronts a mile of Highway 9 north of Silverthorne has been offered for sale to the Summit County Open Space and Trails Department (OSAC) as a conservation easement.
Randy Winegard, who owns two ranches along Highway 9, wants to sell the A1 density on the ranch immediately north of the Silverthorne limits.
The property includes three lakes, formerly tailings ponds for L.G. Everist. The Blue River flows through portions of the 166 acres. It is situated on the east side of Highway 9 across from the Maryland Creek Ranch.
“What we’ve talked about with the county is very preliminary,” Winegard said. “We’ve talked about selling the density off the property. We would keep possession of the property, basically putting a conservation easement on it.”
Winegard wants to keep the right to build one home with a guest house on the property. Those structures would be difficult to see from Highway 9, according to an OSAC memo about the proposal.
The land now is zoned to accommodate one residential unit per each 17.5 acres, as well as a small dude ranch.
“I’d like to keep the property the way it is,” Winegard said. “I think it’s beautiful. It has gorgeous big spruce and cottonwood trees along the river.
“I’d like to improve the natural habitat. It has a lot of deer and elk and with the reclamation done on the lakes created there, there’s getting to be more water fowl there.”
Winegard also owns a 182-acre parcel further north on Highway 9 which, along with a larger portion of land owned by Steve Fausel, has been proposed as part of the Lion’s Gate development. That land is not included in the conservation easement proposal.
OSAC Director Todd Robertson got the go-ahead from county commissioners Monday to pursue negotiations with Winegard, but it’s way too soon to predict the outcome.
“We have not even discussed price yet,” Robertson said. “The next step is for the county and Mr. Winegard to sit down and further flesh out the concept and purchase terms.
“I’m honestly optimistic on everything we go into. We’ve had a real high success rate at striking purchase terms and completing purchase deals with willing landowners.”
The parcel meets all the OSAC criteria for purchase and is “very visible,” Robertson said.
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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