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Bundoran Farm (Virginia, USA)

Preservation development

Located fifteen minutes from Charlottesville, Virginia, Bundoran Farm is a preservation or conservation development where more than 90 percent of the 2,300 acres is protected landscape. 

Conservation Development uses limited residential development to preserve the character and use of rural landscapes in perpetuity. Conservation Development has been described as a "three legged stool." Each leg of the stool represents a different activity and constituency which bear an equal amount of weight.

1. Farming – agricultural work and land management activities.
2. Environmental – guided by the work of Audubon International.
3. Development – home ownership and residency on a working farm.

These three interdependent legs of the stool support a development that is endearing, enduring and replicable. Over several years, some one hundred families will make their home here. Attracted to living in harmony with productive land and creating a community committed to the active application of environmentally responsible principles, these families will not be merely homeowners, but stewards of the land.

The method of preserving the landscape character at Bundoran Farm is simple. Areas of the farm under productive agricultural operations are reserved through an agricultural easement. In return for allowing easements on their property, homeowners enjoy access to nearly the entire farm property and there is virtually no possibility of changing the use of currently productive farmland to one of a non-agricultural use. That means residents will always be home on the farm.

Bundoran Farm has many established patterns formed by the farming operations, pastures, ponds, and orchards; the lanes and trails that convey vehicles, animals, and people; as well as the forests, streams, and meadows. This distinctive model of Preservation Development in which farming operations are part of the inherited environment establishes a series of layers that connect residents to nature, to the farm, and to each other. These layers take the form of greenbelts, farmbelts, and homesites accessed by common lanes and private drives. Cattle crossings, fenced pastures, orchard lanes, and outbuildings are part of this farmstead pattern that is deeply connected and interdependent.