Maybe you have owned property for some time that now you have decided to develop into an equestrian facility, or recently purchased a site to fulfill your dream for a horse farm / equestrian estate; or farm like setting to house your automobile or tractor collection; it is now time to look at the big picture and then zoom in on the details.
As you start the planning process it is best to begin with detailing a Master Site Plan. The site plan starts with a survey drawing of the property. It is helpful to have a topographic survey so that the planning will incorporate to your advantage the variations in elevation on the site.
The next step of site development is to verify with the local governing authorities what the requirements are for the zoning that you have (or do you need to request rezoning for a horse farm). The city or county can also provide all of the setback distances from the lot lines, the locations where drive access to the roads can be located, if stormwater ponding will be required, and the like. Verify also where the utility access to the property will be entering the property. It is also good to know upfront how many horses per acre, or acres per horse, will be allowed on the property. We have seen some people build a 6 or 8 stall barn and then find they do not have enough acres of pasture to accommodate 6 or 8 horses.
The next step is to get with all the people that will be working on the site or have vested interest in the site to jointly develop a list of what you would like to see on the site over the long term (20 to 30 year future). Most estates are developed fully through incremental phases. It works out best in the long run and will save money if you develop a site plan with all the future potential elements on the plan when you do the initial reviews for sketch plan, and preliminary plan development. You can submit for building permits for each phase as the development matures.
With all of the background material known and the “wish list” of structures, drives, pasture areas, fencing, gates, and auxiliary facilities listed your at the point where it would be best to call in an experienced equestrian estate developer to help with the layout for the main barn / stable, pastures, living quarters, drives, parking areas, storage facilities for hay, other feed, waste products, arenas and the like. This is one of the benefits of dealing with Stein Equestrian, because we instinctively know how to optimize the layout for the given terrain, direction for the natural light through the sunrise to sunset and seasonal factors for natural light and ventilation. The types of vehicles and trailers that will be coming into and around the facility will influence the optimum layout of the drives and parking areas.
Each of these concerns need to be addressed as a master site plan is developed, but they don’t have to force you into a rigid design, lacking in beauty and taking away from the landscape. Teaming up with Stein Equestrian will provide you with a long-term plan that provide for optimum operation and maintenance of the facility and provide a healthy and safe environment for your animals while fulfilling your dreams and meeting your budget.
Planning your horse farm is just the beginning of making a place where the memories of a lifetime will be made. It does take some time and thought to go through the site plan development process. There will also be some costs if you don’t have a topo survey of the property, but you look back with the first phase of the project completed and realize what a wise decision it was to bring in an expert to help set the plan for a positive future. Contact Stein Equestrian today and let us plan together to meet your needs.