The Bluffside Farm is located on Scott Farm Road in Newport, off of Bluff Road. It is near downtown Newport and within walking-distance of North Country Hospital, North Country Union High School and Career Center, the Newport Bike path, and the Prouty Beach Recreational Area.
The farm was once a dairy. Most recently it was used for boarding horses and producing hay. Newport City water supplies the house, apartments, and barn. The farm is enrolled in the Vermont Current Use Program. The woodland is well stocked and has been managed with selective harvesting in accordance with a forest management plan. The previous owner tapped approximately 1,000 maples. There is almost a mile of frontage on Lake Memphremagog and Scott’s Cove. A natural sandy beach is considered to be a statewide significant natural community by Vermont’s Nongame and Natural Heritage Program. Several footpath trails wind through the woodland portions of the farm.
VLT is soliciting interest in the Bluffside Farm through a concept-style proposal. Applicants with concepts that best fit the resource and community goals stated above will be asked to submit a full proposal with greater detail, such as a farm business plan.
The farm will be sold subject to a perpetual farmland conservation easement that will allow all types of agricultural uses and new agricultural structures. The easement will include an option to purchase at agricultural value. This option allows VLT to purchase the farm at its agricultural value should the buyer (or a future owner) attempt to sell the farm to a non-farmer. This provision is added to the easement to ensure the long-term affordability of the property to future farm owner-operators.
The easement will allow the existing house and farm structures to be repaired or enlarged and new farm structures to be constructed. If needed for the viability of the farm operation, additional farm-labor housing may be constructed. There will be a designated “farmstead complex” where farm and forestry structures may be built without prior approval of VLT. The final size and delineation of the complex will be configured to provide long-term utility to the farmer.
The easement will include requirements to maintain wooded buffers around several small areas of wetland and the frontage on Lake Memphremagog and Scott’s Cove. In addition, the easement will include provisions ensuring public access to the property.
An Open House will be held on March 18, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm. If unable to attend the open house, potential buyers are asked to schedule a time to enter the buildings by contacting Tracy Zschau at 802-745-6301. Potential buyers are otherwise welcome to walk the property on their own in keeping with the public access guidelines posted in the parking area.
VLT is seeking an owner, or multiple owners, who can demonstrate the ability to fulfill the goals outlined in the Request for Concepts. (These goals may able be fulfilled by an owner partnering with community groups already engaged in some of these activities.) For more info on the Bluffside Farm, please visit www.vlt.org/bluffside