Planning for the inevitable in Buena Vista, residents offer ideas for community development at The Meadows

The Trey Anastasio Band played the Vertex Festival at The Meadows in Buena Vista in 2016.
Courtesy Madison House Presents

BUENA VISTA — After nearly a decade of concerts and events that have thrilled thousands while riling neighbors, the owners of 277 acres of pristine pastures along Cottonwood Creek are pondering how to develop a neighborhood there. 

And they want to include everyone in town in the planning. 

The Selby family — who bought the 277-acre Meadows property at a foreclosure auction in 2013 — recently hosted dozens of residents at a four-day public meeting to incorporate local sentiment into the plan. 

“We really haven’t known what to do there. We’re developers. I’m a developer. It’s obvious that development would be something that’s on our minds,” said Jed Selby, who 21 years ago led his father, Dr. Robert Selby, mother, Kris, and sister, Katie, in developing 41 acres in Buena Vista, using New Urbanist design principles to create South Main on the banks of the Arkansas River.

“But the property is literally perfect as it is, so we’ve been very, very timid to build anything permanent out there,” he said. “With that said, what we have done is a fairly comprehensive rework of all the agricultural systems. We built a pond for irrigation. We put in miles of farming roads. We’ve leveled fields, and we continually ask the question of how do we create a site where there are ultimately permanent buildings, ultimately a neighborhood, and how does it work for all uses?”

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