Lake views

The Summer Village of Parkland Beach is poised for a growth spurt — possibly 75 homes worth.

Grading work has begun at Aspen Rise

Grading work has begun at Aspen Rise

The Summer Village of Parkland Beach is poised for a growth spurt — possibly 75 homes worth.

Grading work has begun at Aspen Rise, a 55-acre development in the community on the northwest shore of Gull Lake.

Norm Houchin, president of developer Focaccia Holdings Inc., said roads should be paved later this summer and lots available by September.

“There are a couple people who are looking at getting their plans in for review yet this month, and hopefully they can start their basement excavations this fall and get it cleaned up in order to work on it through the winter.”

The subdivision is not on Gull Lake, but is connected to the beach by an existing trail. Because the development is on a hill, many of its lots have a lake view, added Houchin.

Lots range in size from 0.46 acres (20,000 square feet) to 0.7 acres, with prices starting at $89,000 and going as high as $155,000. These include a 15 per cent discount that ends Sept. 22, said Houchin.

Buyers are required to pay a $2,500 “build commitment deposit” to the summer village, he said, which will be refunded if they build within seven years. They are able to park two RVs on their lots before, during and after construction, and can locate as many as three accessory buildings — like a guest house or garage — on the their properties.

The subdivision will be serviced with underground natural gas, power and phone lines. Lot owners will be responsible for developing their own wells and sewage services.

With a municipally maintained beach and marked swimming area, playgrounds, a pier and a boat launch, Parkland Beach is well-suited for families, said Houchin.

“Most of our response is actually young families — a lot of them from the Central Alberta, Calgary area.”

A Calgary resident himself, Houchin grew up on a farm west of Bowden. Several years ago, he and his family were looking for recreational property and stayed at a friend’s cabin at Parkland Beach.

“I saw this field that was a bit on an anomaly because it was sitting in the middle of the summer village.”

A civil engineer with 14 years of experience in land development, he bought the parcel about three years ago and began planning. In the spring of 2008, he obtained rezoning and subdivision approval from the Summer Village of Parkland Beach.

About a third of the lots have now been sold, he said.

Houchin believes Aspen Rise will be an asset for Parkland Beach, which had about 135 residents three years ago.

“We’re bringing some fresh blood and hopefully some new energy into the community.”

Although most of the summer village’s residents are seasonal, Houchin said some buyers have indicated they intend to live in Aspen Rise year-round and commute to work in Red Deer.

Additional information about Aspen Rise at Parkland Beach can be found at