Nordegg a boomtown?

The lure of mountain air is expected to bring out the buyers in the first lot draw in four years in Nordegg.

The lure of mountain air is expected to bring out the buyers in the first lot draw in four years in Nordegg.

Plenty of early interest has been shown, but whether it will hit the frenzy of 2007 is a tough call, said Joe Baker, Clearwater County’s Nordegg manager.

“That’s an interesting question, considering the three years we’ve had as an economy since 2007,” said Baker.

“It’s really a tough one to forecast.

“We had no idea we were going to hit with that onslaught that we did in ’07.”

There were 22 lots available that year and more than 200 people squeezed into the county offices with deposits in hand, hoping to come out lucky.

“We were expecting good response, but not that many people by any means. That was crazy.

“I imagine some of them will be back taking another shot.”

Since 1997, about 170 lots have been carved out in Nordegg in a development surge carefully managed by county officials.

This time, 24 leisure residential and four rural residential lots will go to lucky winners in a draw set for Aug. 12 in Clearwater County council chambers in Rocky Mountain House. Those picked must build on their lot within three years.

Leisure residential lots are designed for cottage-style homes. Most are one acre and prices range from $74,575 to $89,645 for the largest 1.4-acre lot. Rural residential lots are located within the townsite and have been reclaimed after owners failed to build on the lots within five years. The four lots are about two acres and range in price from $144,883 to $167,121.

Cottage lots are not meant for year-round use.

To discourage their owners from creating a permanent home, only treated water cisterns and sewage pump-out tanks are allowed. Water wells and private sewage systems are prohibited.

Cottage owners can only live there for 90 consecutive days and 180 days in a year.

Baker said the Nordegg Development Plan passed in 2000 established guiding principles to develop the area without taxing existing water supplies and ensuring the environment and community character was protected.

Cottage developments are being phased in carefully. Next year, another 20 or so lots will go on the market and a similar number will follow in 2013.

Meanwhile, a $9-million water and sewer system upgrade, designed to allow fully serviced permanent residential lots to be developed for the first time in years, is nearing completion.

Construction will begin this year on a 26-lot subdivision on the same street plan as the old town and those will likely be ready for sale next year.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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