About 60 RV’s parked in a temporary site during development of Paradise Shores on July 5. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

Paradise Shores RV park proceeding

Construction injects millions into local economy

Paradise Shores passed a major hurdle after Stettler County approved their development permit application.

The county’s municipal planning commission approved the application permit for the proposed 800 RV site project on 110 acres of land on June 27 and could issue the permit as soon as July 27.

“Phase One will be completed this year,” said Mark Burke, vice-president, RV Sites Canada.

The project is underway and has already injected millions into the local economy. Stettler Electric was awarded the more than $2 million electric contract. Other local contractors hired include a concrete company out of Stettler. Contractors from Stettler County were hired, including a gravel contractor, a security contractor, septic hauling contractor and a water-hauling contractor. The trees will be supplied by a Didsbury tree farm.

Burke estimates that so far the project has poured more than $2 million into the local economy.

Local labourers have been hired, and food and supplies for the work crews and sales team come from Stettler restaurants and stores, said Burke. The lumber is also being supplied by a Stettler supplier. The piping was contracted to a Red Deer supplier.

Burke said more local people will be hired for the water park, kid’s splash park, store employees, maintenance and landscaping workers.

The proposed camp store will only carry general camping supplies, said Burke.

“Stettler will always have more to offer our campers and their visitors in terms of a much broader range of goods and services. With more people consistently coming through the surrounding areas on their way here from multiple directions, there will be shared economic benefits to a wide area.”

There will be about 360 RV sites developed this year and more than 200 RV sites have been leased. About 60 RV’s have parked in a temporary location.

“We have several lessees from the surrounding area, including many from Stettler and area,” said Burke. “(They are from) all over basically, but primarily within a two-and-half radius.”

The wetlands on the land won’t be disturbed.

“We are leaving the wetlands as is, so we don’t foresee any challenges with our data submissions to Alberta Environment.”

An old building on the property is being restored into a boathouse. A beach volleyball court will be developed this year.

Paradise Shores faced opposition earlier this year.

In March, about 400 people attended a public hearing in Stettler for the proposed high-density RV development. Twenty people spoke against.

The Summer Villages of Rochon and White Sands filed disputes with Stettler County over the proposed resort. It ended in May after the summer villages agreed to a reduced density of 750 RV stalls instead of 1,000.

The development was also opposed by a grassroots group of Buffalo Lake area residents led by Darrel Hicke of Calgary. He started an online petition in February that obtained more than 1,000 signatures.

In addition, both Lacombe and Camrose Counties gave Stettler County letters of concern over the project. They said the proposed development didn’t comply with the environmental requirements of the Buffalo Lake Inter-municipal Development Plan that requires any changes in land use or development avoid environmentally sensitive areas and important wildlife habitat.

Paradise Shores RV Resort is expected to also include a clubhouse, fitness area, coffee and juice bar, a swimming pool and tennis courts. The final plans doesn’t include plans for a bar, restaurant, spa or cottages.

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A family at the Paradise Shores site July 5. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

Campers at the Paradise Shores site July 5. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

A view of Buffalo Lake from the site. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

Construction is ongoing at Paradise Shores. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

(Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

A view of the boathouse and beach area of Paradise Shores. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

An old building on the land is being restored as a boathouse. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

The wetlands will be preserved. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)

Boats along Paradise Shores development July 8. (Contributed photo)

A view from the boathouse July 8. (Contributed photo)

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