Stirling’s self-developed residential lots are selling

·2 min read

In his monthly message to the village of Stirling, mayor Trevor Lewington announced that “in another sign of growing confidence, the village has conditionally sold three out of four municipally-owned lots, which could see several new homes being built this year”. According to the townfolio link on the village website, the village saw five residential buildings go up between 2009-2011, another five from 2012-2014, and ten from 2016-2017, but none since. According to Chief Administrative Officer Scott Donselaar, the village is well-positioned for more growth. He shares, “we are hoping that we are going to be able to acquire more land through annexation, once do that we will have more potentially developable land come into the village boundary, and we look toward future commercial and residential structures.” Aside from potential backfill lots (large tracts of land not listed for sale that could be subdivided), the village still has a few lots left for sale, at least one listed privately, and one for sale by the municipality. The lots recently sold all have municipal services for deep utilities such as sanitary and water, although the land is bare and would require grading and engineering. The village self-developed the land and ran the services to them, hoping to off-set those costs by purchasers building quickly and increasing the tax base. Development agreements with builders state that the purchaser has two years to complete the majority of construction, which ensures that the village will not be waiting too long to be paid back for their investment in the property. While self-developing residential lots is not common practice among municipalities, it seems more Southern Alberta towns and villages are trying it out. Nobleford is well known in the region for creating larger self-developed subdivisions and exponentially increasing community growth in a short amount of time, which led to them moving from village to town status in 2018. Mayor Lewington’s letter to Stirling notes “council will continue to explore ways to promote reasonable economic development and growth.”

Elizabeth Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star