What is a conservation community?

September 30, 2019

A Conservation Community can be defined in different ways. In practice, it is characterized by “clustered” planning: preserving large areas of open space while delivering numerous associated benefits. As we worked to craft the first of its kind in Colorado, we aligned our development philosophy around three main principles: restoration, sustainability and conservation that bring a holistic approach to wellness for each and every family that calls Independence home. This spans physical, mental, and environmental health by fostering a connection to the outdoors and the land, offering ample opportunities to get outside and be active, and working together as a community to live as consciously as possible. We believe this kind of responsible development is the only path forward in a changing world where our footprint on the environment matters more than ever.

From the outset of this project, even before we acquired the 1,000-acre homestead, our vision was to develop a community that preserves what came before it and takes a forward-thinking approach to what comes next. This philosophy guided the search for the land itself, as we worked for nearly seven years to identify and purchase a piece of property that was large enough for us to bring this new community to life the way we wanted to—with plenty of preserved open space, lower housing density, miles of trails, innovative infrastructure, thoughtful amenities and the most cutting-edge technology to create a place where families can thrive and grow for generations to come.

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We looked for topography we could build our community around, rather than disrupting it to fit our plans. The rolling hills at Independence, with their dramatic views along the entire Front Range corridor and east to the Black Forest, make for ideal homesites, for sure. But the natural features also allowed us to cluster houses in ways that maintain ample open space throughout the development and create neighborhood pocket parks that sit within 1,000 feet of every household.

After finalizing the acquisition, we set out to preserve as much of the original ranch as possible, taking great care to repurpose and restore existing structures, including what is believed to be a Sears Roebuck kit home constructed by the Bentley family in the late 1800s. The sheds, barn, outhouse, silos and all three of the property’s original windmills are also being restored and repurposed into shared, community amenities, including what we hope will someday be an exhibit of the artifacts we’ve recovered around the property.

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Because water is a precious resource in Colorado and essential for the long-term health of any residential community, we have invested significant resources to include the highest level of water recycling in the state of Colorado. This state-of-the-art system incorporates proven technology, intentional land planning, and thoughtful landscape design to reduce water consumption by about half that of a typical home. We’re also incorporating solar panels, watt-restrictive streetlights, and smart-home features to lower overall energy consumption, light pollution and waste. Additionally, over 3,000 new native species of trees are being added to the community.

Our conservation efforts, beyond those mentioned above, include conscientious road mapping around existing topography and clustered home sites as not to disturb the natural landscape. In fact, there are no straight roads at Independence. We’ve also paved as little area as possible in an effort to restore historic drainage flows. All landscaping will include native species and use drip irrigation to reduce water use. We’ve maintained key wildlife corridors, worked to replant or maintain existing natural vegetation, and preserved wetland habitats throughout the property. And of course, of the 1,000 total acres, over 400 will be kept as open space for families to explore and enjoy the outdoors just beyond their backyards. Not only does this allow our residents to live in harmony with the land and the wildlife that calls it home, this type of development is a more sustainable asset to the county, delivering more tax revenue per mile of road than any other existing community in Elbert County.

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All of these efforts are driven by our desire to create a new community that is inspired by the spirit that has long defined the West—a desire to improve the life and possibilities for future generations. And that is what we’re creating here at Independence. A community where timeless, small town values and space to roam coexist harmoniously with innovative infrastructure, thoughtful amenities, and modern technology that deliver a more enriching way of life that can be sustained for the long term.

Independence Community is a new neighborhood of houses for sale near Parker, Colorado in the township of Elizabeth. The first residential construction phase of this new Colorado community will break ground with its first neighborhood in early 2020. New construction homes will be available for sale in spring for 2020 starting in the $400s. For more information on these homes and the exciting, new community taking shape south of Denver, sign up for updates here.