Retreat Farm master plan approved

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BRATTLEBORO — After a public hearing in August 2017, state permitting officials have approved the Act 250 Permit for Retreat Farm master plan, which includes the renovation and repurposing of the eight historic barns on Route 30 as well as the construction of two new buildings and 14 triplex cabins on the 34-acre site.

While the master plan build-out is scheduled to be completed over nine years, the Retreat Farm will begin hosting weddings, concerts, and events in their new "Farmhouse Square" immediately. Additionally, the permit allows for construction improvements in the barnyard, and the renovation of the barns, including the iconic north barn and adjoining ox barn.

"We'll be working hard over the winter so that we can move full-steam ahead in the spring," stated Retreat Farm President Buzz Schmidt in a release announcing the approval of the permit. "We look forward to expanding our education program and outdoor campus and are excited to finalize plans for the renovation of the North Barn into a cafe, public market featuring local producers, and an events venue."

As the redevelopment of the property unfolds, each of the nine farmstead structures could house a variety of potential enterprises such as a cafe, public market, events venue, bakery, forest school, commercial kitchen and/or micro dairy. Although the precise uses of each building will likely evolve between now and the associated phases, all uses will comply with the town of Brattleboro's Development Review Board requirements, existing planned unit development guidelines, and easement agreements with Vermont Land Trust and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.

"We look forward to more opportunities to serve the local community, most immediately by hosting weddings, agricultural celebrations, recreational events, and holiday markets," stated Schmidt. "These events will complement our expanded Childrens' Farm and Forest program, and provide conducive venues to bring the community together."

For more information about the Retreat Farm, visit www.retreatfarm.org or contact Retreat Farm staff at info@retreatfarm.org. For more information on the Retreat Farm Master Plan permit, please visit the state's Act 250 website.

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