Scenic Sands raises issues with county

Residents and property owners of Scenic Sands have raised several development issues with the County of Stettler asking for action to be taken to address their grievances.

Residents and property owners of Scenic Sands have raised several development issues with the County of Stettler asking for action to be taken to address their grievances.

At its regular meeting Sept. 9, county council received a letter from Scenic Sands Community Association and discussed the letter in-camera since it involves possible legal action by the Scenic Sands association.

“While the community sees that the communication and co-operation between us has improved in the past two years, generally the community believes that the county does not act in a manner that is fair to all landowners and specifically the county does not enforce its own bylaws,” said the letter signed by Ivan Purdy, president of the association.

To address the concerns, the county is open to discuss the issues with the association.

“We’re always working with people in multi-lot subdivisions and hamlets,” Reeve Earl Marshall told the Independent.

“We, as a county, have to look at the whole region.”

“We can’t agree with everything all the time,” said Reeve Marshall, noting that bylaws and other documents are often interpreted differently by county staff, council and residents.

Further, the county sent a letter written by chief administrative officer Tim Fox to the association stating that the county is dong all that it legally can to address these issues outlining the county’s roles, responsibilities, authority and regulations.

“It is not the county’s responsibility to protect the private-property interests of either the developer or people who do not want to see development in their area,” said Fox.

Among other things, the residents say in their letter of complaint that the county allows recreational vehicles for living accommodations in certain areas despite prohibitive regulations, ignores violations of its own bylaws with respect to off-road traffic, fails to abide by national regulations protecting wildlife and does not communicate with residents. Another serious allegation is that the county gives preferential treatment to interests of developers over those of landowners.

“Residents are very concerned that what they paid for – attractive, quiet, sizable, country lots in a resort residential community – is being taken away from them by the interests of a developer in seeming secretive, illegal or deceitful way, “said the letter.

“We believe that there should be a full disclosure of the total extent of the developer’s plans for adjacent property owners and that the development should not be done on a piece-meal basis.”

“We believe that the county should act in the interests of all taxpayers in this community and not just those of the developer.”