Bench View subdivision starts taking shape at Shaunavon By Monique Massiah
Over $1 million in upgrades to local infrastructure has helped Shaunavon stay competitive and enabled the town to offer many of the same services found in cities.
Bench View subdivision, a brand new housing development in the town’s northwest, aims to keep up with Shaunavon unprecedented growth of about 400 residents a year.
“Shaunavon is a great place,” said Jay Meyer, administrator for the Town of Shaunavon. “It’s a safe place and rural Saskatchewan is growing everywhere.
“We are a growing community. A lot of our in-fill lots that the town does own, presently are full. There are some private lots out there that’s available, but we have no real control over the value of those or what they sell for.”
He noted that without a new subdivision or planning for new subdivisions it would be difficult for the community to grow.
“We are seeing our population increase. Sask Health stats say that we increased upwards of 400 people last year and we are becoming a larger community with the oil activity in the region,” said Meyer.
The first phase of the new subdivision’s development is planned for the summer of 2013. This phase will see the structure paved. Phase One of Bench View will consist of 13 out of a total of 49 lots.
“Presently we have sewer, water, power, energy to 13 lots. We are just working on the paving, which will be done this (year),” said Meyer.
Properties at the subdivision will be priced between $58,000 and $65,000. Most lots range between 60 and 68-feet by 120-feet in length.
A conceptual plan for the new development was created in 2008. Bench View is located along Fourth Street West to the North, Tenth Avenue to the West and Highway 37 to the South and Seventh Avenue to the East. Water, sewer and storm mains were installed at the town-owned property in 2012.
The creation of a new neighborhood in Shaunavon is a fairly fresh idea as the last subdivision built in the community was approximately 30 years ago.
“In small rural communities like this I guess they go one step forward in slow steps for planning, because you can only afford so much,” said Meyer.
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In-fill lots are a popular sale in the community at the moment. The town has already sold three in-fills whereas last year six in total were sold.
“We’ve had people kicking it around in regards to the interest,” said Meyer. While none of the lots have yet to sell, he suspects that once landscaping and paving have started and the property starts to be more developed people will be able to better visualize Bench View.
The subdivision will be a four-phase project. At the moment there is no set time-line of when all 49 lots will be developed.
“It will come down to supply and demand,” Meyer said. Once the lots are sold and residents start moving in Meyer assures that individuals will find Shaunavon has so much to offer through an active arts and culture community, a theatre and services that rival those found in cities.
“We’ve done a $700,000 upgrade to our water system two years ago. We just did a $400,000 upgrade to our lift station, which is our sewer system, so we are aligned, as to our recreation services we have our
Jay Meyer is pleased with the progress of the Benchview Subdivision. Photo by Monique Massiah
rink, we have a new skate park and a great museum,” said Meyer.
“If Bench View was to start developing and we could get new families in there that would be great. I believe once the paving is done and people can get their heads wrapped around exactly what the landscape is going to be we’ll start selling them,” he said.
Certain tax incentives are also available for those who decide to purchase or renovate residential spaces in Shaunavon.
For new lot development 100 per cent of taxes are abated in the first year, 66 per cent in the second and 33 per cent in the third year before full taxes are levied in the four year. For in-fill properties 100 per cent of taxes are abated in the first two years and 50 per cent in the third year before full taxation falls during the fourth year.
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