Cedar Valley Ridge
About The Land
I first saw this land in 1994. It wasn't for sale, but I had heard that the owner was thinking about selling it. I had been looking for a place to live and possibly to build a retreat facility. I came out to the property in the middle of the winter and hiked around on it a bit. I just plain fell in love with the land and contacted the owner to arrange a meeting with him.

When we met, I told him that I had been looking for this piece of property for years. I said that I wanted to buy it, and would pay whatever he wanted. I gave him a check and told him to keep it as my commitment to buy the property. We didn't sign anything, just simply agreed to get to know each other and let a deal grow out of our friendship. Over the next few years that in fact did happen, and he lived there with his wife until he died.

As I saw the land in all the seasons, I could see that the hills were ideal for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, running, bird watching, wildlife photography and simply enjoying nature. I found Cedar Run Creek as it coursed through the property for almost a quarter of a mile, with its islands and its wide variety of wetland flower species, to be an enchanted area. The forest served as home to deer, fox, coyotes, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines, and even an occasional mink. Goshawks, ravens, pileated woodpeckers and a wide variety of songbirds from wood thrushes to indigo buntings contributed to a chorus in the trees. Trilliums, trout lilies, Dutchman's breeches, violets, lady slippers, and many other species of wildflowers and ferns covered the forest floor amid the maple, beech, oak, poplar, ash, basswood, pine, hemlock, ironwood, juneberry and witchazel. And I loved picking morels in the Spring.

My goal was to preserve the land and to protect it from development, but I soon realized that I couldn't do it by myself. I simply wasn't wealthy enough to be a public benefactor. After exploring a number of options, I made an offer to transfer the development rights to a local land conservancy for a fraction of their value. However, almost a year after the arrangement had been made, state budget cuts affected the source of the funds to be used to underwrite the transfer and consequently forced the cancellation of our arrangement.

I didn't want to sell the property for fear that it would be developed as high density housing in a way that would destroy the beauty and unique aspects of the land. My next best option was to develop it myself with as much care and respect for the land as possible. That is precisely what I have done. Existing zoning would have allowed up to fifty-six lots, but there will never be more than thirty-five lots in this community. Over seventy percent of the development is a protected natural area owned in common by the homeowners. This common area protects the natural habitat of the plant and wild life, as well as providing a buffer for the people who will live here. No matter how much development encroaches on this area, the view from these homes will always be of the surrounding forest.

Dan Paulson & Susan Sherman
Developers, Cedar Valley Ridge
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