City News

Posted on: October 10, 2019

Waneka Centennial Farm and Open Space purchase

waneka farm map

Purchasing proposal presentation to City Council on October 15

The Waneka family name is synonymous with Lafayette history. Henry Adolf Waenecke (later changed to Waneka) emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family in 1854. In 1861, they built a homestead in Lafayette’s Coal Creek Valley and operated the Waneka Stage Stop located approximately 2 miles south of Mary and Lafayette Miller’s Miller Tavern Ranch. Shortly after, Adolph built a dam to impound a “generous” spring, which later became Waneka Lake. Adolph’s middle child, William, Sr., purchased 260 acres of rich, irrigated farmland just east of Lafayette in 1882. This land is located along Baseline Road and 119th St., and is known today as the Waneka Centennial Farm.

Since approximately 2016, the City has been in discussions with the Waneka family for the possible acquisition of a portion of the Waneka Centennial Farm. Over the last six months, these conversations have turned into productive negotiations resulting in a framework for acquisition of land for Open Space.  This purchasing proposal will be presented to the Lafayette City Council for consideration at the October 15, 2019, meeting.

There are two parcels associated with this proposed acquisition. The first is approximately 137 acres east of 119th and south of Baseline Rd. It extends east and includes the Centennial Farm and Powers Marsh. The City will retain ownership of the 4-acre farm. Boulder County Parks and Open Space has agreed to partner 50/50 with the City for joint acquisition of the remaining 133 acres.  

The second acquisition is approximately 14 acres west of 119th St. and south of Baseline Rd.  It consists of a 100-foot buffer from Baseline Rd. south along the Burlington Trail to Emma St., and incorporates the Old Town Marsh. It will also incorporate a buffer east along Emma St. to 119th St.  

The entire acquisition will cost $8.5M.  The City and County will partner 50/50 on the 133-acre AG parcel, and the City will purchase outright the 4-acre Centennial Farm and 14-acre Old Town buffer. As a condition of purchase, the Waneka family has required a pre-annexation agreement which specifies that the remaining parcels will be annexed into Lafayette, that staff will recommend mixed-use zoning, and that the City will provide municipal services to this property once developed.

VIEW a map of the Waneka Farm properties:

DOWNLOAD the October 15 City Council packet and associated documents (20mb);

VIEW a map of the Waneka Farm properties...
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