Most of 32 homes in first phase already reserved.

Construction is finally going to get underway on a major housing development in Taft.

For a decade Bob Colston has dealt with environmental and other issues that have delayed Taft's growth, but now, the earth moving equipment has arrived on scene and preparation started Monday for the first phase.

It's one of the most anticipated construction projects in memory.

The first phase will be 32 single-family homes on the west side of Hillard Street at the north end of the development.

Colston said Monday that 29 homes have been reserved and 14 prospective buyers have already qualified for financing.

A road grader carved out space for a chain-link fence that will surrounded the initial 8-acre parcel being developed.

Next week, the real work begins with earthmoving equipment leveling the land and grading it in preparation for the construction to start.

Colston has worked for more than a decade to build on the land, but strict environmental regulations have delayed the project again and again.

Another developer came in to take the project on, but more environmental regulations, plus potential deal-killing demands from the mineral rights holder for drilling access drove them out.

Finally, after the city brokered a deal for drilling access elsewhere, and the last environmental issues were settled, the project can move forward.

When completely built out, the project could include as many as 400 new homes.