September 26, 2012
Okotoks to seek water from other sources to accommodate growth
Okotoks to seek water from other sources to accommodate growth
Town shifts gears after lifting population cap
By Eva Ferguson, Calgary Herald
CALGARY — The Town of Okotoks will have to be even more aggressive in its pursuit of finding more water for residents now that a long-term cap on population growth has been lifted.
After purchasing three new water licences along the Sheep River over the past two years, the latest for as much as $1 million, the town can supply water to all of its 25,000 residents.
But Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson hopes to purchase even more licences in an effort to provide water supply to as many as 60,000 residents in the future.
The burgeoning town just south of Calgary has for years fought to stay small under a 30,000-resident population cap enacted in 1998. But town council voted this week to lift the ban in frustration over development growth that continues to go up haphazardly around the town’s borders.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Robertson said.
“We keep seeing the M.D. of Foothills allowing all of this intense growth on our doorstep, but we’re not getting any of those revenues.”
Robertson and others who voted five to two in favour of eliminating the cap argue if they allow growth within their town’s borders at least they can control it and benefit from those revenues.
Coun. Matt Rockley agreed: “If we can plan the development, we can ensure it is more compact, it uses less land . . . and it can be serviced with transit, and with water.”
Historically, the town’s challenge has been accessing water services from the surrounding Sheep River, its nearest and only existing water resource.
In 2006, the province issued a final moratorium on allowing any new water licences from the South Saskatchewan River basin, which feeds into the Sheep.
But the Town of Okotoks has been able to buy up existing licences from private landowners or oil companies who have used the water for underground extraction.
Another option might be to build a dam upstream along the Sheep River, collect spring run off in a separate reservoir and use that for Okotoks’ needs.
The town is also looking to enact policies and guidelines that would make it easier for residents to conserve water on their own property, reducing their own rates and keeping existing supplies up.
Homes could be refitted to store dish water, rain water and other light waste waters in a holding tank to use for watering their property or even flushing toilets. Residents are already being asked to conserve water through a bylaw that only allows outdoor watering two days a week.
Robertson added how much Okotoks ends up paying for water will also depend on future weather conditions and how dry farmland in southern Alberta will be in future years.
As global warming becomes more of an issue, and depending how severe future droughts are, water markets can become very volatile in the near future, the mayor said.
“It just is what it is,” Robertson said. “We’ve got all these challenges, and we’ll have to deal with them head on.”
While other towns like Airdrie, Chestermere and Strathmore all benefit from water service from the City of Calgary, Robertson fears building a pipeline and paying for water from the big city might be too expensive.
“Going to the city is one of our options, but we’re not really looking at it right now,” he said.
But Paul Fesko, manager of strategic services for the City of Calgary’s water resources, said pumping city water into Okotoks is completely feasible.
He explained the Town of Okotoks would have to fund construction of a pipeline which could be built over two years, and then any increased costs would be built into the town’s water rates.
Fesko couldn’t say whether those increased costs would be more or less than having to keep purchasing water licences on the Sheep River.
“It’s all about what is the cheapest way to get a glass of water on the table in Okotoks,” he said.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
September 23, 2012
I have sold a property at 47 SUN HARBOUR RD SE in CALGARY
I have sold a property at 47 SUN HARBOUR RD SE in CALGARY.
Fish Creek Park out your front door! This well maintained townhouse is right up the hill from Lake Sikome and in the heart of Sundance. If you love to be near open spaces this is the home for you. Park in your attached garage and enter into a spacious foyer that leads to the kitchen with upgraded flooring, solid oak cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Gorgeous oak hardwood in the large living room and dining room with a corner gas fireplace and large sliding door onto a private deck. Upstairs is a large master bedroom with walk-in closet and 4-pce ensuite. The two other bedrooms are good size with a 4-pce main bath. Downstairs is nicely finished with a large family/rec room and big laundry room with lots of storage. Condo living means there's no grass to cut or snow to shovel, just grab your towel and head to the beach or head to Fish Creek Park and enjoy the Calgary sunshine.
September 19, 2012
Homes for Sale SE Calgary - Midnapore -
Midnapore is a community within the SE of the City of Calgary.
Midnapore was once an unincorporated community with its own train station, but as Calgary grew larger, it was annexed into being part of that city in 1961 and established as a neighbourhood in 1977. It is bounded to the north and east by Fish Creek Provincial Park, to the south by Sun Valley Boulevard and to the west by Macleod Trail.
Midanpore is a popular district and those looking for real estate for sale in Midnapore SE Calgary can choose from affordable starter homes to spacious lakeside properties.
In 2011 the neighbourhood had a population of 6,888. Residents in this community had a median household income of $68,492 in 2005, and there were 11% low income residents living in the neighborhood. As of 2006, 15.8% of the residents were immigrants. A proportion of 18.4% of the buildings were condominiums or apartments, and 29.3% of the housing was used for renting. Midnapore community info.
Midnapore Lake was developed by Keith Construction, which also developed several other lake communities in Calgary. The Midnapore Lake Residents Association (MLRA) is a not-for-profit association which owns, maintains and operates the facilities of the lake and park. Each residence is required to contribute to the assets of the MLRA each year to ensure the financial viability of the MLRA. More info.
Midsun The Mid-Sun Community Association strives to enhance the quality of life of the communities
of Midnapore and Sundance in southeast Calgary by providing a voice, as well as direction, to meet the expressed needs of residents.
There were 8 Midnapore Single Family Homes Sold in August of 2012, with an average sale price of $582,675 and a median sale price of $341,500. The average days on market (DOM) for these 8 sales was 19 days.
Closest Schools for the Community of Midnapore
Closest Midnapore LRT Stations
Click or call,403.397.3706, to schedule your private viewing of any Homes for Sale in Midnapore .Or, to receive customized search of listings in Midnapore or South Calgary email me
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September 17, 2012
On top of the world! Article by Todd Hirsch Senior Economist, ATB Financial
Calgary is world famous for the Calgary Stampede and for Spruce Meadows and its proximity to Banff National Park.
But, according to one global real estate consultancy, Calgary is on top of the world for a reason other than mounts and mountains: returns on property investments.The 2012 IPD Global Cities Report, unveiled at a real estate conference in Paris earlier this summer, places Calgary at the top of the heap of global cities for best returns on real estate investment. The index compares 60 international cities and covers four major property types: retail, office, apartment and industrial.
According to the report, Calgary was one of the world’s most improved markets, with total returns of 8.7 per cent in 2010, but shooting up to 21.6 per cent in 2011. “An energy-driven economic boom in Alberta...generally benefitted the city, and brokers reported prime office space in the central business district to be near full occupancy at year-end,” the report states.Other global cities that performed well on returns on property investments included San Diego, Portland,
and Seattle. The three other Canadian cities on the list—Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto—ranked 8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively.Despite the modest slowdown in general economic activity in Alberta this year, commercial and industrial activity continues to be a propeller of Calgary’s economy. Returns on investment may soften, but the city continues to attract international attention by the real estate investor.
Senior Economist, ATB Financial
September 6, 2012
Calgary's healthy housing market
Calgary's healthy housing market
Will van ‘t Veld
Economist, ATB Financial
September 6, 2012
After a spring of defying the negative national housing market sentiment, the Calgary market cooled a bit in August. But, Alberta’s largest city remains one the nation’s most solid real estate markets. Back in February, the inventory-to-sales ratio in Calgary began to dip, as sales increased faster than new listings, indicating the market had quickly dipped into sellers’ territory. Buyers have since reversed that trend slightly, with the Calgary Real Estate Board reporting that monthly
sales in August dipped 11.6 per cent month-over-month.The swing in housing market activity can be seen in average residential price changes. That average residential price nudged down to $417,000 in August, a 2.2 per cent drop from July, which is nonetheless 3.1 per cent higher than a year ago. The MLS also computes a benchmark price, which is less volatile. The benchmark price adjusts for specific features, such as lot size, bedrooms and location. The jump in the MLS benchmark price index through 2012 has been pretty impressive, up 6.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis. Activity in the single family detached home market has been particularly strong over the past year, with the MLS benchmark index jumping 7.8 per cent yearover-year in August. This is the main reason the overall residential home price index has increased so noticeably, as detached homes make up the vast majority of residential sales.
For their part, condo and town home prices have been plodding along, with the benchmark price increasing 3.3 and 2.6 per cent, respectively, on an annual basis.
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