West Country living continues to capture the imagination of Albertans looking for an outdoor getaway.
Not a single lot is available in the Nordegg area, yet demand remains unabated.
“We get daily, weekly calls and emails,” said Joe Baker, Clearwater County’s Nordegg manager.
It is hoped that a new 69-lot subdivision aimed at seasonal cottage dwellers will meet some of that demand.
The new development is considered the sixth phase of a development boom that has been carefully managed since 1997 when the first 22 lots were carved out. Since then, about 170 residential lots have been developed and there has been a rush to buy every time a new group of lots become available.
“The last five years we’ve sold all the lots we’ve got on sale the same afternoon,” said Baker. “There’s a waiting list.”
Two hundred people chased the 22 lots that came available in 2007, the last subdivision up for grabs. Interested buyers entered a draw to determine who would get the chance to buy.
Baker expects the latest development on 97 acres in the Nordegg townsite will also prove tantalizing. “It seems not to have died down.”
The zoning changes needed for the subdivision have passed first reading and are working their way through the planning process. It is expected to go before Clearwater council for a public hearing, and possibly second and third readings in early October.
If approved, it is expected the one-acre lot subdivision will be built in phases. The goal is to have the first 20 to 25 lots available by next summer. The others would follow in subsequent years.
The development is aimed at seasonal users. Cottage owners are only allowed to live there for up to six months in a year. To deter people from turning their cottages into full-time residences, only individual cisterns for water and holding tanks for sewage are allowed — wells and septic fields are out.
A network of roads paved to municipal standards will provide access to the new lots.
Limiting the size of lots to an acre and putting restrictions in place to ensure the subdivision remains seasonal is part of the county’s plan to allow development in the picturesque hamlet while ensuring the area does not become over-built. It is a philosophy in keeping with the Nordegg Development Plan, passed in 2000 to guide growth in the community.
The latest development would boost the number of cottage-style lots to 85. There have also been 96 rural residential lots sold. Those two-acre sites are designed for bigger, permanent homes.