Phase 1 begins at Seven Lakes in Porters Lake area

103 new homes will be built off Alps Road

Construction begins next week on a model home for the first phase of the Seven Lakes development in the Porters Lake area.

“Our roads are 80 per cent built. We have one (model home) starting next week and one starting two weeks later,” said Gail Penney, executive director of the Penney Group.

“By the end of July, we will be building (more) homes.”

Once finished, the 256-hectare development, being carried out over seven phases, will have over 600 new homes worth about $160 million.

“Our first development agreement has 634 homes,” Penney said Tuesday. “We are going (to apply) for a second development agreement for additional lands but that is probably going to be five years from now.”

Seven Lakes Development Inc. is a joint venture of the Penney Group and NuCove Property Holdings Ltd., both of St. John’s, N.L.

A media event and ribbon-cutting was held Tuesday at Seven Lakes Experience Centre. The centre on Highway 7, which provides information about the development to prospective buyers, opens its doors to the public next week.

The first construction phase will result in 103 new homes in an area off Alps Road, a couple of kilometres from Highway 107’s Exit 20.

“Eventually, this road will connect all the way down to Conrod Settlement Road, which is Exit 21,” Penney said.

Homes start at just under $300,000.

The first phase, near Bell Lake, will also include a community beach area, boat dock and community gazebo.

“We’ve on purpose decided not to put homes around the lakefront,” Penney said.

“We’ve made sure that everybody … has full access to the lake.”

She said the development has many environmentally friendly features, including a state-of-the-art waste treatment system that differs from the standard septic tanks and fields.

“The effluent passes through a series of tanks and when it gets to the end of the tanks the water is already potable, then we put it through a UV light to kill any bacteria. Then we put it through a dispersal field, which is a large sandy area, so it is all naturally returned to the water table.

“Part of this design is that we are really careful about our run-off, so the water goes right back into the earth.”

The developers are still working with Halifax Regional Municipality to build a public trail near the development, she said.

“We actually delayed our project for over a year to work with HRM on how to get that trail done, and now HRM staff have been tasked to find a way to develop a rural road standard so that we can complete this public trail. That public trail will happen.”

In May, regional council passed a motion allowing the development to proceed under the rules established in the 2006 regional plan. An updated plan is now going through the approval process.

Penney said market conditions will dictate how long it takes to complete the development.

“We have eight people who have committed to homes, which is great in a slow market. Our goal is to have slow growth and good quality housing … There is no rush or panic.”

Coun. David Hendsbee (Preston-Chezzetcook-Eastern Shore) said he expects the project will bring further development projects to the area.