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THE UNIQUE NATURAL BEAUTY of Conyers Farm makes it one of the great land assets of the Northeastern United States. The farm includes over one thousand acres of rolling fields and pristine woodlands, sylvan lakes and leafy trails. Remarkably enough, this preserveis located in Greenwich, Connecticut, only one hour from New York City.
The land is now being developed, as a community where up to sixty families will live in secure, spacious surroundings on country estates. The development is tailored to the requirements of those individuals who value the privacy and way of life that can only be realized on a large lap holding.
Through a landowner's association, Conyers Farm intends to provide private roads, riding paths and a wide range of sports amenities. A full-time security system will be installed to provide comprehensive and coordinated protection twenty-four hours a day. Deed covenants and architectural controls will help to maintain and protect the character of Conyers Farm as a secluded rural environment.
Conyers Farm affords the opportunity to live in the country and yet be a part of the New York metropolitan region. Such a prospect has not been available near New York for many years.
CONYERS FARM is located in Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the premier residential communities of America.
Since the 1870s, the land in Greenwich and surrounding Fairfield County has been sought for the development of large waterfront and "back country" estates. As a result of this growth, there are numerous golf, tennis, and yacht clubs, excellent restaurants and the full range of services that make an outstanding residential town. In particular, the schools in Greenwich, both public and private, are of exceptional quality. The region is also a center for breeding, training, racing, and showing horses. Jumping and dressage events, races, and high-goal polo matches draw participants and spectators from as far away as Argentina and England. The town has an easy and direct access to New York City and its international and regional airports. Yet, for over a century, Greenwich has retained the spacious natural beauty and convenience of gracious country living.
Now, open land for large estates is once again available in the town of Greenwich. This opportunity is rare, as Conyers Farm is the last large parcel of land remaining for development in Greenwich.
THE HISTORY OF CONYERS FARM
THE LAND THAT IS NOW CONYERS FARM was assembled in the early 1900s. He built a country residence patterned after an English manor, and over a ten year period created a1500 acre self-sufficient estate known as "Conyers Manor."
The manor house, built on the high ground, has a commanding view of Long Island Sound as far as Manhattan. On the surrounding slopes are extensive parks, gardens and greenhouses, and the homes Converse commissioned for other members of his family. Don Barber, a well-known New York architect of the school of McKim, Mead & White designed the numerous buildings on Conyers Manor. The landscape was planned and planted by Henry Wild, an English garden architect, who also designed gardens for the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace and for Isabella Stewart Gardner at her Brookline, Massachusetts’s estate.
The farming operations were concentrated on two hundred acres of prime agricultural land lying below the Manor house, between Upper and Lower Cross Roads. Converse built a magnificent stone dairy barn and many other farm buildings, which still stand today. He raised poultry, cows and pigs, and produced milk, butter and eggs stamped with the distinctive CF mark. On the high ridges extending north from the barns and into New York State were hundreds of acres of apple, pear and peach orchards. The property also included large stands of woodlands and the Manor's own stone quarries. In the center of the property Converse built the Manor’s water supply, Converse Lake-today a private, one hundred acre lake.
The Converse farm continued to operate into themed 19308 when Lewis Rosenstiel, the founder of Stanley Distillers, purchased the property. The present owner acquired the land from the R08enstiel estate in 1981. Since acquisition, he has started to clear the overgrown fields and renovate many of the remaining buildings. Paddocks are being built, trees planted and fields re-seeded. This historic property is being restored’ to Edmund Converse's vision-a sanctuary of working farms and country estates standing proudly in back country Greenwich.
THE PLAN FOR CONYERS FARM
CONYERS FARM is planned as a private residential community with a maximum of sixty estates in Connecticut. These range in size from ten to twenty acres or more. All estate owners will be members of the Conyers Farm Association, which will provide a full range of amenities and services including:
• a complete road system;
• five miles of riding trails; and
The estate owners will be protected by a set of restrictive covenants designed to preserve the high quality of the estate and its natural environment. The covenants are intended to establish architectural controls, wildlife preserves and prevent small subdivisions of properties and land speculation.
The Conyers Farm estate has over one thousand acres of land and water in which there are four distinctive natural settings. The largest is the manor land, the original site of Converse's manor house, gardens, barns and farm buildings. The. Manor, a cohesive architectural composition of stone buildings set amongst specimen plantings is in the process of being restored to its former splendor. The woodlands are an established deer habitat. Mature stands of trees are interlaced with ponds, streams and rocky outcrops. Thousands of small animals and fish live in this preserve whose ecology will not be disrupted. The lakefront is the heart of the property. Endless vistas stretch out from its dramatic shoreline and a subtle montage of color and form are reft.ectedin its deep waters. The high ridges, cleared centuries ago, are traditional New England farmland. Rolling hills and open space are delineated by the geometry fold stonewalls and contrast with the secluded world flake and woodland.
The new community will have entrances directly off North Street, giving residents convenient access to central Greenwich and Connecticut's parkway system. From North Street most of the estates are reached along two private roads, each of which is to have security gate.
The Southern Gate is the splendid Conyers Manor entrance. From here, Conyers Farm Road follows the manor drive, winding past paddocks and lush woodland. Some of the new estates in this area will include old buildings and fields of the original Converse farm. Other estates are part of a one hundred seventy acre wildlife preserve.
At the Northern Gate, opposite White Birch Farm, Hurlingham Drive enters the property at the new Conyers Farm Polo Club. This road leads through open farmland to the estates, which overlook the polo fields and those on the shore of Converse Lake.
For residents who prefer a more independent estate, there are sixteen properties, which may have driveways directly off town roads. Six of these are along the edge of Converse Lake.
The manor land, woodland, farm, and lakefront provide four distinctive alternatives for the estate owner. Yet, the estates themselves in their diversity are planned as friendly and compatible neighbors. The special character of each property adds a unique element to the tapestry of Conyers Farm.
THE CONYERS FARM RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
THE PLAN FOR CONYERS FARM includes the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions; a legal document recorded in the Greenwich land records, which permanently establish the rules, which bind every owner of property in Conyers Farm. Among these restrictions are safeguards enforceable by the property owners and by the Town of Greenwich designed to protect the environmental values and to preserve forever the open space quality of this land.
The following, in summary form, is an outline of the key elements of The Conyers Farm RestrictiveCovenants:
1. LARGE LOT REQUIREMENT The proposed subdivision will result in 60 residential lots, all between 10 and 20 acres and a farm of 148acres (Article VII, Section 20).
2. CONSERVATION EASEMENT AREAA 17 S acre preserve is established by easement designed to provide a wildlife habitat and to provide watershed protection (Article VI, Section 20C).
3. WETLAND AREAS In addition to the areas defined by law as "wetlands,” buffer areas of at least 50 feet around all wetlands and, 100 feet around all lakes, ponds and streams are established by easement, thereby increasing the protected areas (Article VI, Section 21 A),
4. SEPTIC MAINTENANCE In order to safeguard our water supply, the Conyers Farm Association has the right to inspect and service all septic systems on any property in which a wetlands located (Article VII, Section 21c, D).
5. ARCHITECTURAL CONTROL all properties within Conyers Farm are to be developed under the guidance of an Architectural Control Committee. Protection of natural resources and the prevention of unsightly conditions are some of the requirements, which each property owner is to observe (Article VII, Section 1-19). '
6. USE LIMITATION Residential and farming uses are specified for Conyers Farm. Permitted uses of Converse Lake for residents of lakefront property include fishing, boating (excluding power boats), ice-skating and swimming.
7. OBLIGATION TO BUILD To encourage the development of Conyers Farm by persons who intend to make it their home, the restrictions require every buyer of property to complete the building of a home within a limited period of time (Article X).
8. AMENITIES The Conyers Farm Association is authorized to provide security; road maintenance and landscaping of all common property and to construct and maintain a bridle trail system (Article II). The owners intend to develop this land into a cohesive community in which the Town, as well as the Conyers Farm residents, will take great pride.