SURREY A development project that could eventually multiply Surrey's population tenfold recently began site work north of the town.
Silver Springs, a master-planned community proposed by OBASA Group on about 600 acres, could add 9,000 to 10,000 people to Surrey's current 1,000 population, estimated Dean Rasmuson, president for the company's U.S. operation in Minot.
OBASA Group is a Saskatoon, Saskatchwan, company, that has built master-planned communities, hotels and resorts in Canada. The Surrey development is its first U.S. venture. The company is looking at developing the 600 acres over the next three to five years.
The initial 80 acres on which work has begun is platted for 90 homes, of which 52 would be single-family and the remainder townhomes. The developer is restricting house construction until paved roads are in place. Roadwork is to start after Labor Day.
"We really believe that most of the housing will be built and occupied by July (2013). We have reservations for almost all 90 lots already," Rasmuson said.
The bulk of the 600 acres is designated for single-family homes and townhomes, although there is a portion along Ward County Road 12, just east of 97th Street in Surrey, where apartments and commercial construction received preliminary council approval Monday. The council denied a request for industrial uses in that area. The commercial site would be suited to a grocery, restaurant, gas station and professional office space, Rasmuson said.
The Silver Springs preliminary master plan also calls for parks and trails and sets aside land for a potential recreation/library building, senior center, soccer field, fire and police station and school. Rasmuson said the developer is open to donating land for teacher housing if the school wishes to build it.
OBASA Group has committed $20 million for infrastructure in Silver Springs, Rasmuson said. The infrastructure includes oversized water lines and sewage lift stations and contributions to lagoon and water tower expansion.
The city is negotiating with North Prairie Rural Water District on service to Silver Springs. North Prairie, which serves Surrey, could provide water to Silver Springs either through Surrey's city system or as a separate customer. However, Surrey is requiring that the water quantity be adequate for fire protection, which goes beyond the traditional service provided by North Prairie, Jason Vaagen, city auditor, said.
Rasmuson said OBASA Group chose to develop at Surrey for a number of reasons.
"Surrey is just an absolutely beautiful community. It's country living city-style," he said. He added the town has an attractive location near Minot's mall, airport and industrial jobs.
Although the city is putting strict requirements on developers, Surrey also understands of the needs of developers, Rasmuson said.
"The City of Surrey has welcomed us," he said. "They are willing to work with us. They envision the positive side of this, and we are bound and determined to deliver what we have promised."