Dows Farm Agri-Community

Project Overview

The Dows Farm is 179 acres of rolling farmland, pasture, and stream buffer under the ownership of Linn County. The design concept for the Dows Farm Agri-Community envisions development in a manner that incorporates and protects the site’s significant environmental features and respects its agricultural heritage.The 179 acres is bordered by Mt. Vernon Road on the south, Dows Road on the west and the Squaw Creek Ridge residential development on the northeast. 

The 306 acres located to the north of the Dows Farm agri-community is adjacent to the County-owned Wantatee Park and the City of Cedar Rapids' Gardner Municipal Golf Course. This property is intended for long-term conservation and related uses.

By the Numbers

Conservation land / stream buffer (% of total)89 acres (50%)
Farm operation - farm buildings, crops, pasture, gardens (% of total)45 acres (25%)
Neighborhoods - housing, commercial uses, pathways, playgrounds (% of total)45 acres (25%)
Total number of residential units251
Total commercials space (sq. ft.)40,700
Estimated economic value of project (in millions)$83.5

The Dows Farm Agri-Community

An agri-community is a development built around a working farm – think of a golf course development, only instead of a golf course the central amenity is a farm. Typically, the farm is relatively small, uses farming practices that minimize the impacts on the surrounding development, and welcomes the surrounding residents and neighbors to get to know the farmer and learn about the farm operation. 

The Dows Farm Agri-Community will create a unique living, educational and economic experience. Residents will have direct access to trails and open space and can participate to varying degrees in the acts of planting, growing, harvesting, eating and even celebrating food grown on the farm. There will be a wide variety of affordable, multi-generational housing options for all income levels and family sizes.This will be a very walkable community, with activity centers about a 5-minute walk away. In addition, there will be a small, carefully integrated retail center. The retail center will include uses such as a farm-to-table restaurant that incorporates food grown at the farm into its menu and other uses serving the residents and surrounding neighborhood.

This community will be developed in a sustainable way that efficiently uses land, energy, and water in order to reduce waste and pollution and conserve natural resources. Key components of sustainable development include stormwater management, green infrastructure and low-impact development practices; construction and site development practices; and energy efficiency practices to provide for today’s economic, environmental and community needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

The Dows Farm Agri-Community will keep 75 percent of the site in conservation open space or agriculture, with only 25 percent of the site allocated to development.

2019 Dows Farm Vision Plan


Agri-Community Examples

The following are benchmark examples considered during the concept planning phase for Dows Farm:


Send us your feedback on the concept plan via email.