Alderfer barn, house destined to remain on Jeffco property

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By Sandy Barnes

The board of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District has considered asking Jeffco Open Space for the deed to the Alderfer barn and surrounding property when the lease it has with the county expires in 2017.

The Evergreen park district is responsible for maintaining the barn and the home beside it, which once belonged to the Alderfer family. In the past year, the park district has also begun hosting barn dances and other events at the property, and has made it available for weddings.

However, Tom Hoby, director of Jeffco Parks and Open Space, said his agency would like to renew the lease, rather than deed the Alderfer property to EPRD.

“When I look at Alderfer, we’re a little bit challenged because it is surrounded by the park,” Hoby said at the June 20 EPRD work session.

“It is unique and different in that it is surrounded by open-space property that we manage. It seems incongruent to deed land in the middle of one of our parks.”

Because EPRD is hosting events at the Alderfer property, which might not be within the guidelines of Open Space use, a deed to it could be rescinded through a reverter clause, Hoby said. The deed would have the restriction of use for park and recreation purposes, he explained.

Hoby also pointed to a difference between older structures and those with historic designation.

“We want to do some assessments on the (Alderfer) barn and its historic nature,” he said.

Although the original portion of the Alderfer barn dates to the late 1800s, the remainder of the structure has been built around it, said Scott Robson, EPRD executive director.

Hoby suggested offering EPRD a 50-year lease for the Alderfer property with a one-year termination clause.

“I think the bottom line is, we’re totally willing to work with you on a lease agreement,” he said.

EPRD board member Janet Doyle asked Hoby about the availability of county funding for the Alderfer property.

Although the lease would not come with county funds for maintenance and improvements for the barn and home, there are other ways to receive funding, Hoby said.

The county receives funds from the state lottery, which Jeffco commissioners appropriate to park districts through a matching grant program, he said.

“Our willingness to transfer the deed to the district is not there,” Hoby said. “Our willingness to strengthen our partnership is there.”

Jeffco Open Space began acquiring the Alderfer property in 1977 and now owns 440 acres, including the 5-acre parcel on which the barn and home are situated. EPRD has leased this parcel from open space since 1989.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.