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How long did it take you to build your farm from the ground up?

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  • How long did it take you to build your farm from the ground up?

    Getting supremely frustrated. I would especially like to hear from those in an area with odd or restrictive zoning ... our permits and approvals took the longest time, and now the rainy season is waylaying us!

  • #2
    You don't say where you are, but my part of the Midwest meant I had to apply for 2 variances to build my barn w/attached indoor.
    House was already in place, zoning allowed the number of horses I planned.
    Permit for the barn was obtained by the builder.
    Variances were for height & SF of the indoor.

    Which meant letters went out to surrounding neighbors inviting them to the Zoning hearing so they could have their say if they objected.
    My barn builder was The Best, he literally walked me through the application process.
    I went to the hearing solo, but had just one objection that the board overruled.

    I also had weather-related delays.
    Permits were issued in March, ground too frozen for excavation until April. Then fortunately rain did not cause further delays.
    Once the excavator finished the base - IIRC, 2 weeks - the whole structure went up in 3 weeks.

    Fencing took a month, with a delay for start date, then a change in supervisor of the crew. Then another delay when they put posts onto my neighbor's land & had to take them out.

    I brought horses home mid-August & "turnout" was the indoor until fencing was completed.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

    Comment


    • #3
      We moved from a "completed", 90 acre horse farm in Ok. to a bare 65 acre hayfield...NO BUILDINGS/fence....in 6 weeks!! Did perimeter horse fence and a lot of electric cross/double fencing to be replaced, had a "pre-contracted" barn builder erect three barns and a small indoor to my plans and bought a 36 foot, triple slide out RV to live in. We've finished proper fencing, a lovely home, interior stalls, feed, tack rooms, riding arena and additional run-in sheds in the past 2 years (we are both "retired"...that's a joke...seniors! Important to have a SOLID plan and stick with it....And plan on a LOT of long work days...or hire a REALLY TRUSTWORTHY, contractor!
      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by crosscreeksh View Post
        We moved from a "completed", 90 acre horse farm in Ok. to a bare 65 acre hayfield...NO BUILDINGS/fence....in 6 weeks!! Did perimeter horse fence and a lot of electric cross/double fencing to be replaced, had a "pre-contracted" barn builder erect three barns and a small indoor to my plans and bought a 36 foot, triple slide out RV to live in. We've finished proper fencing, a lovely home, interior stalls, feed, tack rooms, riding arena and additional run-in sheds in the past 2 years (we are both "retired"...that's a joke...seniors! Important to have a SOLID plan and stick with it....And plan on a LOT of long work days...or hire a REALLY TRUSTWORTHY, contractor!
        So you did not have to attain permits, etc?

        Comment


        • #5
          No...there aren't any rules in "rural" Ok. or Texas....other than the Electric Company, the County Water connection, and the mandatory "Aerobic" septic system....all taken care of by those installers. All "ag." buildings are done without permits.
          www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Gotcha. That’s our problem. Very metropolitan area with tons of restrictions and approvals needed. It’s about to keel
            me
            over. We do have a fantastic contractor and other team in place thankfully. They just keep assuring me this is normal. But a year after property purchase and we are only just grading, it sure does seem overwhelming.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by APirateLooksAtForty View Post
              Gotcha. That’s our problem. Very metropolitan area with tons of restrictions and approvals needed. It’s about to keel
              me
              over. We do have a fantastic contractor and other team in place thankfully. They just keep assuring me this is normal. But a year after property purchase and we are only just grading, it sure does seem overwhelming.
              OMG!!! That must make you CRAZY!!!
              www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

              Comment


              • #8
                We are in the middle of the city with over a million people around us. Permits for the barns were just pull the permit as we were not even close to lot coverage limitations. Did have to get a variance after the primary barn was started due to the city permit office giving us the wrong back-set from the side property line (was told ten feet whereas it was twenty-five feet).

                That has been our only issue today.

                Very metropolitan area with tons of restrictions and approvals needed.
                when I was on P&Z for my city I made sure to embed the right to have horses within the city into the Master Plan

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                • #9
                  Permit processes can take a long time, speaking as a land use commissioner here. In our town, a very ordinary application with no problems or issues would take four to five months to wend its way through both wetlands (must be done first in our town) and then zoning. Simply because of the notification requirements. If subdivision is involved or variances to the zoning are requested, you would be looking at probably two or more months beyond that. If any board needed more information, you might have more time added. I've known just the permitting process to take over a year, again not due to problems, just due to overlapping jurisdictions.
                  The best way to move things forward quickly is to come to the boards with a helpful attitude and all the possible information. We still can't move any faster than the notification laws in our town/state/county allow; but I can tell you right now, if we have drag the information out of the applicants...it just isn't fun.
                  Last edited by B and B; Feb. 10, 2020, 03:05 PM. Reason: missing word

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Yes, wetlands huge factor, plus erosion control, etc. So many permits! Luckily we are through that now and I got along famously with the town planner, it’s just taken sooo long and our forecast for two weeks of rain — is a downer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We retired to an Ag county, where a lot of permits aren’t required and if one says “ my barn is my priority”, they get right on it

                      permits were few and easily obtained, once the perc test was done.

                      We bought 25 acres that was already completely perimeter fenced. We cross-fenced a little at a time.

                      The barn and a 24’ x 100’ attached paddock were built before we got here.

                      We lived in a camper for eight weeks until the house arrived which is a modular, not a trailer home.

                      We lived on our property as soon as we arrived from our 2,100 mile trip and waited eight weeks for the house to arrive and be finished on site.

                      That was September thru November; that year we were very fortunate to have great weather

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We are zoned A (Agriculture), but our 11 acres was completely wooded.

                        It took six months to clear, grub, excavate. We were stopped by the Department of Environmental Quality because we have a creek that runs through the property. We had to install 1600 feet of silt fence ($$$$$$!!)

                        The the house started... From foundation to finished it took six months to build. The rain slowed us down A LOT.

                        We purchased Amish pre-fab shedrow barns for the horses. The barns were to be delivered close to the completion of the house. That was delayed due to snow and rain.

                        And then our fencer was delayed getting started due to rain and mud... And then when he was pounding posts he hit a spring that spurted about 15 gallons a minute. We had to stop and put in an extensive french drain system that is about 500 feet long. From the spring to the creek.

                        And then the fencer was delayed again after we ran into right of way easement issues.

                        Finally the horses came home.

                        From property purchase to the day the horses stepped on the property - about 16 months.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bought a 15 acre property in Central Florida in the spring of 2016 and finally closed in early November (previous owners had gone through a messy divorce and there were delays getting a good quit claim deed from the ex-wife). Then I started a seemingly endless process with the county -- very long story which involved getting Agricultural Classification for the property and fighting with the county about required building permits (or not) for a non residential agricultural building. We also had to demolish a dilapidated metal barn that was on the property and take care of many old trees that had been neglected -- some needed to come out and others needed lots of trimming. We started the demolition/clearing process in early April 2017 and after resolving our permit issue were able to start construction of a 16-stall concrete block stable in early May. The stable includes two tack rooms, 4 grooming stalls, 2 interior wash racks, two feed rooms and a lounge. We also built a large covered arena and a utility building. We were actually quite lucky with the weather until we had a fairly significant hurricane in September -- which put us back a few weeks (no power for a week, delays getting sub contractors back). We had to take out all the old perimeter fencing and put in all new perimeter and turnout pasture fencing. We were blessed with a wonderful general contractor -- and were able to move horses in on January 1, 2018. There was still some finish work to complete but we got horses in. So that's our story .... we ended up with a great facility and are very happy with it. I own it -- lease it to my trainer and his wife, and they operate it as a dressage training facility.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We bought our farm summer 2014.

                            Summer/Fall 2014: clear enough pasture and set up enough hot tape fencing to bring horses home in fall. Hay is stored in the garage and bought several bales at a time. Tack lives in the basement. Horses have trees for shelter.

                            Winter 2014/2015: build small run in shed, create drylot (but badly). Apply for grants for fences, gravel, etc, from Conservation district.

                            Spring/Summer 2015: Add hoof grid to drylot. Start clearing for arena. Make tack room in basement. Continue clearing pasture land.

                            Winter 2015: upgrade to wooden fences for drylot, add a third horse and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how we want to lay everything out.

                            Spring 2016 add another drylot, build small makeshift shelter, begin planning stages of 36x48' barn, start working on cross fencing, fence in arena, add sand to 2/3 of arena.

                            Fall 2016: submit barn for permitting, get approval a month later. finish last 1/3 of arena

                            Spring/Summer 2017: build barn ourselves, complete second drylot, finish wood fences around perimeter.


                            I would say that was the timeline to go from absolutely nothing up to very suitable for horses. We both had full time jobs, so worked on the farm on evenings and weekends (plus I have summers being a teacher). We built the barn ourselves, hiring out the roofing only. In this timeline it was a good year and a half of hauling out to local arenas to ride while we got our place organized. I also trail rode a lot and practiced our ability to school on lumpy grass.

                            In the last three years we have added three more drylots with run in shelters, renovated a neighbor's barn, cross fenced a TON, added landscaping, worked on a variety of manure situations to find one that worked, and perfected exactly how to cram 14 horses worth of stuff into a barn built for four-five horses. I wouldn't change anything except the design of the first shelter - so I think that is a total win!

                            We are in an extremely restrictive county outside of Seattle, but having a farm plan from the conservation district made permitting a breeze.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by happilyretired View Post
                              I bought a 15 acre property in Central Florida in the spring of 2016 and finally closed in early November (previous owners had gone through a messy divorce and there were delays getting a good quit claim deed from the ex-wife). Then I started a seemingly endless process with the county -- very long story which involved getting Agricultural Classification for the property and fighting with the county about required building permits (or not) for a non residential agricultural building. We also had to demolish a dilapidated metal barn that was on the property and take care of many old trees that had been neglected -- some needed to come out and others needed lots of trimming. We started the demolition/clearing process in early April 2017 and after resolving our permit issue were able to start construction of a 16-stall concrete block stable in early May. The stable includes two tack rooms, 4 grooming stalls, 2 interior wash racks, two feed rooms and a lounge. We also built a large covered arena and a utility building. We were actually quite lucky with the weather until we had a fairly significant hurricane in September -- which put us back a few weeks (no power for a week, delays getting sub contractors back). We had to take out all the old perimeter fencing and put in all new perimeter and turnout pasture fencing. We were blessed with a wonderful general contractor -- and were able to move horses in on January 1, 2018. There was still some finish work to complete but we got horses in. So that's our story .... we ended up with a great facility and are very happy with it. I own it -- lease it to my trainer and his wife, and they operate it as a dressage training facility.
                              Sounds so similar to my story

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We moved onto a semi-remote 160 acres in 2008. We had bought the place 2 years before this, it took 2 years to sell our other farm. It was not our original plan to move into this area, but it was a property with such unbelievable potential, so incredibly beautiful, and dirt cheap to buy, that there was no comparison. Perimeter fenced with barbed wire, some cross fencing was in, creek with irrigation rights flowing through it, 40 acres of irrigated hay fields in, mature and in production but not well cared for. Areas that were not hay fields were used for grazing cattle. No buildings. Part of the lower pasture was considered "too dangerous to graze cattle on".

                                High pasture areas had been badly logged 50 to 80 years previously. All branches and crap left on the ground then, still there. Some old wire fences had been burned in one spot (wire burns SO well- duh!). When we made the move, into a 26 foot recreational goose neck trailer on June 1 2008, with 3 cats and a dog, horses, and two humans, it was culture shock. Building permits were in, we had had ample time for that, these things come easy in semi-remote areas. We put the well in, hit spring water (artesian spring) at 60 feet, the year previously. Put the driveway in with a local guy doing the work the year before we made the move- I sold a very nice show horse to finance the driveway. House builder we hired was a crook, and we were green and trusting. He got the house half built in 4 months before firing him for incompetence and being drunk constantly. We moved into the house Jan 1, 2009 and finished it ourselves. It was -38 C here that winter, the coldest winter the area had experienced in some years. We sold the RV trailer. We lucked into a good local fencing contractor, and he did the fencing we needed for high pastures and paddocks in the summer of 2008. We put up a Coverall arena, that that went well, the local company was excellent, on time, on budget, and a pleasure to deal with. We got another local barn builder to do our hay barn/winter shelter barn, this builder had come recommended by our new neighbours. That barn was built in the fall, September/October of 2008. We have only two large stalls with paddocks attached in the hay barn, and two large loafing sheds, on both sides of the barn. In summer, stalls are rarely needed, horses in training live in paddocks by the arena. Semi-arid conditions, no mud (other than spring break up).

                                My horses, a herd of TB and TB crosses, including my stallion, were turned out in what smaller pastures were functional, safe, and fenced that first year. Access to creek for water. Bought hay locally the first year, as our crops were poor, and not cut yet when we moved in. All that summer, EVERY DAY, I was out in the bush, clearing dead branches and downed trees into burn piles, finding hazards hidden in the underbrush, etc. In the thick bush, I come across old stumps from the logging that went on. Came across several equine and cow skeletons and skulls. Getting it clear enough to be able to run the tractor with the brush cutter on it over the areas, and safe enough for horses to move onto high pasture. It took 2 years before I ventured into the lower pasture that had been deemed "too dangerous to turn cows out onto". I located the sink hole in there, and fenced it off with timber. I ran an electric fence on the side opposite the creek, and beefed that up with adding deadfall to it... a "cariboo fence" of the finest order! And my horses moved in there, doing their work. Together, we have cleared and cleaned it up, into safe low pasture, which grows great grass, is naturally subirrigated in our semi-arid climate. I have that area for when we have forest fires in this area, it is a safe area for horses to stay, won't burn, should the worst happen.

                                Now, 12 years later, I am still building burn piles, every year, 20 or so. I only work in late fall and early spring with this now, avoiding hidden wasp and hornet nests (ask me how I figured THIS out!). I have learned to use my little electric chain saw for maximum destruction. There are still areas that I have not been, can't gain access without a bulldozer. Which is OK. We have cleared another 5 acres or so into naturally subirrigated hay fields, further increasing our hay yield. Put up 125 tons or so this year. Hubby has decided that he wants a mountain bike course, so is building one in the forest of the high pasture, sharing this area with horses when they are in this pasture. No problem. I have 6 distinct pasture areas to rotate my herd of retirees, cripples and pets through, plus the hay fields (in winter) and my competitive horses join the rest of the bunch for winter months.

                                My point is, if it's big enough, it never ends! Which is a good thing, there is never a shortage of things to do, and always a "project" on the go. I love it.
                                www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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