Drake Landing developer helping Town find water
Okotoks: United Communities looks to keep development growing
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 06:00 am
Drake Landing’s developer is working to secure a water licence to keep the community growing as just over a dozen lots remain up for sale for new homes in the community.
United Communities is working on the final phase of the development.
However, the developer has confirmed it is working to secure a new water licence for the Town of Okotoks to allow it to expand the Drake Landing neighbourhood to more than 36 acres of land south of the Okotoks Airport.
“We’re in the early stages of facilitating a transfer to the Town of Okotoks,” said Bob Faktor, United Communities development manager.
The Town has enough water for approximately 28,000 people and the 2013 municipal census puts Okotoks’ population at 26,319.
Okotoks is not approving new subdivisions until it is able to expand its water supply. However, if developers are able to find a water licence and have it transferred to the Town, they are allocated 60 per cent of the amount covered by the licence to allow them to continue building.
Faktor said the company hopes the provincial government will approve the transfer soon to allow it to start construction this year.
“We though we were at the end of Drake Landing and this allows us to continue a few more years,” he said.
In the meantime, the site is already on its way to being rezoned for residential use. Council approved second reading of a bylaw last week to rezone 36.4 acres of land just south of the Okotoks airport for future residential development. Plans for the area call for single-family homes, with traditional sized R-1 lots and smaller R-1N lots. The plan also calls for a mix if higher-density residential and commercial development near the intersection of Milligan Drive and Ranch Road.
Council cannot consider third and final reading of the bylaw until the Town has secured additional water licences to supply the development. Town council has two years to grant third reading.
If approved, the site will see a continuation of the single-family homes commercial and medium density multi-family developments.
“We hope to attract some form of retail type development that conforms to that mixed-use [zoning], but we’re still very early in the process so we haven’t progressed too far along regarding a vision,” he said.
Faktor said United Communities will work with the developer of Ranchers Rise to create a comprehensive plan for the mixed-use area.
Okotoks mayor Bill Robertson is hopeful United Communities will be able to secure a water licence for the community to allow development to continue in the Drake Landing area.
“I’m optimistic the licence they’re pursuing will come through,” he said.
Robertson said the development proposed for the area looks good and council approved first reading so it can host the public hearing to get input from residents.
“Overall I’m supportive, but I’m waiting to hear what the public hearing brings,” he said. “Often, if people have concerns with it they’ll bring forward rational we haven’t considered.”