Country living a stone's throw from the city, that is part of the appeal for residents of Beaver Creek Estates. The expansion of homes numbers approximately 40 today and more are either under construction or in the planning stage.
Ironically, the popular development began as a failed effort by brothers Tom and David Nienow of Des Lacs.
"We bought six acres and wanted to build a shop there," said Tom Nienow. "The city wouldn't let us build a shop without a house, which we didn't need, so we decided it was better for us to sell lots than build a shop."
Lots have been selling and expansion continues at Beaver Creek Estates. About 40 homes have been completed at the location southwest of Minot.
The Nienows made their initial land purchase in 2004. The land was within the City of Minot's two-mile jurisdiction, meaning any construction had to comply with city wishes.
No shop. No house. No problem.
Nearly as soon as the Nienows divided the land into lots ranging from two to three and one-half acres in size, people began to show a high level of interest in becoming residents of a new development located a short distance from the city.
"We bought another 20 acres. Now we're on our fourth addition. It's been real good," said Tom Nienow.
A deep ravine that runs through a portion of the property creates a natural setting for homes, many of which have been built to maximize the view of the coulee that will not be developed. The drainage at the bottom of the coulee carries runoff in the spring. No, it is not Beaver Creek.
"There really isn't a Beaver Creek there," explained Tom Nienow. "We just saw beavers building dams in that coulee in the springtime and used that for a name. It is actually the First Larson Coulee. Farther to the north, that's Puppy Dog that heads over to the mall."
Rural water serves Beaver Creek Estates. Homeowners are responsible for their own septic systems and contract for garbage removal. Heat is mainly provided by electricity, but propane is an option. There is no natural gas service. A covenant requires that the size of new residences meet minimum standards.
"They have to be at least 1,400 square feet on the main floor, so there's nothing smaller than that there," said Tom Nienow. "We don't let any modular or double-wides or anything like that in there, just stick built houses. It's a pretty decent community out there."
Larry Thom and his wife made the move to Beaver Creek Estates after living in Minot for nearly 30 years. Thom, who grew up about three miles southwest of Beaver Creek, says he always wanted to return to rural living.
"It's just so quiet out there. It is nice and peaceful. You have neighbors, but not real close," said Thom. "You can listen to the pheasants and the coyotes. It is so peaceful at night."
Twenty-one new lots were added to Beaver Creek Estates last fall. About eight remain. Sometime in the future the Nienows intend to expand Beaver Creek once again, adding an additional 14 acres of lot space.
Roads to and within Beaver Creek Estates are gravel surfaced. Roads inside Beaver Creek were constructed by the Nienows but then became the property of Afton Township. Curbs and sidewalks are not required. The township maintains the main gravel road, 30th Street, located about two miles west of U.S. Highway 83. Thirtieth Street leads south from County Highway 14 to the entrance to Beaver Creek Estates, a distance of about one mile.
"The appeal? The big thing, I guess, is that it is just close to Minot and still country living. That's the big thing," concluded Tom Nienow.