Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Progress Update

Often it seemed that things have hardly progressed at all since our meeting with the Planning Commission. We have a list of some 30 things we need to do - but two of them have to be completed before we can even get on the schedule for our second public hearing with the County Commissioners. One was trivial (signage plan) and is done, but the other is prooving to be a real headache. For submitting the application for special use, we were required to send certified notification to the mineral owners of our property about our plans. Easy enough - at least after we paid $900 to find out who our mineral owners were. We had a list of 4 individuals and one land corporation. Two of our certified letters were returned undeliverable, so that took us down to 3.

Well, now we have to actually get these people to respond and sign something saying that they have no issues with our plans. This has been a nightmare. Ginger was calling and faxing every few days for 2 weeks with little response. The individuals, it turns out, are brother and sister, and the sister was out of town. We're trying to be patient, but every day delay grates on us.
We've started detail planning of the build out for the kennel - so far it's just becoming clear what an enormous job this will be.

We spent Saturday burning the weeds from our fence line that separates us from our neighbors to the south. We did this partially because it needed to be done, but more so because when we had those neighbors over for dinner they had lamented that the previous owner had never done his share of this chore. Give that these are the neighbors who were upset over the result of our Planning Commission hearing, we've decided to step up our efforts to be good neighbors. When David notified them that we'd be burning this weekend, we were very pleasantly surprised that he called back and offered to come help! It was a terrific bonus to have someone experienced show us the ropes. This is really something else - walking around with a BBQ propane tank in one hand and with the other waving a nozzle around and weeds pretty much explode into flames.

It was a bit frightening at first - but then we started in the most sensitive area in that there are 6 small pine trees we wanted to prevent from getting singed. But, we picked up the techniques rapidly and ended up clearing a lot more area than we'd intended. By the end it kinda felt like playing vengeful Greek God.

To avoid melting our plastic-coated fence, we started weed whacking a boundary.

Wow! We've never seen this area for the weeds before.

On top of that, we really enjoyed working together with our neighbor, getting more of the history of the properties. Things look a bit charred, but with the wind and snow storms that are still to come I'm sure that will fade quickly.

And, right on cue we had that huge wind storm on Sunday (that let our horses loose). It also took its toll upon us when Dave and I took the week's load of hay down to the pasture. We store it there on a pallet covered by a tarp so that we don't have to lug bales around during the week. Well - trying to wrestle that 20 x 15 tarp in those 60 mph gusts was an experience to remember. Fortunately neither of us got whipped, though we both did our share of blindly grappling with flapping tarp edges while trying to protect our faces with our arms.


WooHoo! Not only have we gotten one of our mineral owners responses, but it also sounds like our County Commissioner Hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 9th!



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