AP NEWS

Plan to Lease City-owned Farm Gets Initial Longmont City Council Approval

March 20, 2019
Longmont could lease 160 of 253 acres of farmland it purchased in October to a tenant farmer. City council on Tuesday gave its initial approval of the lease.

Longmont City Council members gave initial approval Tuesday to an ordinance authorizing the city to lease 160 acres of agricultural land it owns in unincorporated Weld County to a tenant farmer for $15,200 a year.

Under the ordinance, which now will be scheduled for a public hearing and possible final council action on April 9, the city could lease the farm to Chad Musick of Sipe Farms LLC.

The land is part of a 253-acre farm Longmont in October bought for $8.2 million from Newby Farms, LLC to preserve it as open space. Musick has leased the land from Newby Farms prior to the city’s purchase.

The 160 acres the city would lease to Musick and Sipe Farms lies east of Weld County Road 5 and north of Weld County Road 26, in an area between Union Reservoir, which is a distance west of the farm, and St. Vrain State Park, which is southeast of the property.

It initially would be a one-year lease, but the city could extend it for four additional one-year terms.

The remaining 93 acres on the onetime Newby Farms property — areas that would not be part of the land leased to Musick — include four existing residences and associated outbuildings Longmont officials have said the city intends to eventually sell, as well as access roads and a drainage gulch.

Council members did not comment on the lease proposal during Tuesday night’s meeting before voting their approval of the ordinance.

John Fryar: 303-684-5211, jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc