OXFORD – The owners of a prominent Lafayette County farm plan to turn part of their acreage into homes that blend with the rural setting.
The Lafayette County Planning Commission on Monday approved Woodson Ridge Condos to include 33 houses in the first phase and seven in the second. The development will have entrances from Woodson Ridge Road (County Road 215) and Bay Springs Road (County Road 202).
The houses will be individually owned, but all other property will be held in common, and maintenance to ponds, roads and other amenities will be handled by the owner association.
“What we want to do with this property is create a country place that is still a working farm,” said landowner Sandy Sharp at his initial appearance before the Planning Commission in August.
Woodson Ridge Farms is already a working farm, where Luke and Elizabeth Heiskell and their staff raise vegetables on land they lease from Sharp. The Heiskells market their produce through membership sales in their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants and Elizabeth Heiskell’s catering business.
Plans for the development show most of the fields toward the property’s west half, with the houses to be clustered on waterfront points on the east half.
As planned, the houses will be of board-and-batten siding and metal roofs, both reflecting a traditional rustic style in modest farm homes of the South. Engineer Jeff Williams said most owners will likely build on the property as a second home.
“These will be a maximum of 2,500 square feet,” Williams said. “Each person will be building his own. They’ll have some models to go by, and everything will have a compatible look.”
Sharp said the condo ownership model will offer the convenience of a weekend apartment with the ambiance of farm life.
“The owners are buying it with the idea that they have a second home in the country without taking on the maintenance of the whole property themselves,” he said. “The aim is to do as little damage as possible to the property and its farming.”