There is limited housing available in the Village of Westport, but a new development aims to put some 10 new homes into the village by the end of 2021.
The entire project proposes 70 new homes, 20 in phase one, to be built by Land Ark Homes, who have taken over the former Derbyshire project.
"The goal is in keeping with the village to make every home a unique home," said Land Ark Homes owner Stephen Rolston.
Most of the homes will be 1,200-square-foot (365-square metre) bungalows. Each bungalow will have a different front elevation, alternate loft elevations and alternate basement configurations to suit each individual buyer, according to Rolston.
The designs will also allow buyers to add a bonus room or choose a larger two-storey configuration.
"My belief is that as soon as Land Ark open their sales office they'll have a line-up of people; the demand is definitely here," said Mayor Robin Jones.
The development is going in on the southwest side of Concession Street, opposite the village. The north entrance of the development will be at 16 Concession Street, while the west entrance will be at 75 Bedford Street.
"So at the main entrance, behind the Beer Store, is the Mountain Road extension coming down from Foley Mountain and it will have a nice big entrance monument," said Rolston.
New home development in Westport has been slow to materialize, largely because there was, for a long time, virtually no water and wastewater capacity.
"Six years ago, houses would stay on the market forever, because we had a water and wastewater system that was unreliable," said Jones.
As the village has steadily made improvements to its water and wastewater system, new capacity has been developed allowing new serviced homes to be built.
The new development does have an area that is zoned for commercial and multi-residential, but Rolston said he didn't think Land Ark would be building a multi-residential unit in that area, as public consultations conducted by Land Ark revealed little appetite for an apartment building within the neighbourhood.
Land Ark is promising generous walking trails and parkland that will make up a significant percentage of the development.
"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority has given us approval to put a walking path on both sides of the creek; that alone is almost a kilometer of walking trail. The parkland in this neighbourhood comes to about 15 per cent of the land and includes seven kilometers of sidewalk and walking trails," said Rolston.
With a newly-minted pre-servicing agreement in place, the plan is to break ground in mid-January to get started on the underground infrastructure and roads, including construction of service roads.
The developer is planning to start building the sales office in March, for completion by mid-July with the goal of building 10 new homes by the end of 2021.
Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times