Opponents of a large RV development along Buffalo Lake are appealing the development permit application Stettler County approved for Paradise Shores RV.
Stettler County’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) hearing gave opponents one more opportunity to fight the RV park they say will destroy their peaceful area, create safety issues and lower their property values. About 80 people attended the hearing Aug. 16.
After legal counsel for the developer, RV Sites Canada, asked the SDAB board for an adjournment of the hearing, appellant Darcy Peelar asked that all work on the development stop until after the appeal process.
“We think it serves the county and the developer and not the appellants,” said Peelar. “If you are going to delay this hearing then we believe there should be a no occupancy put in place.”
But SDAB chair Craig Teale said the board didn’t have the authority to issue a stop work order. The SDAB board rescheduled the hearing to Sept. 18.
The appellants want the presentations to be done by all nine appellants giving presentations rather than the format of issue by issue. Legal counsel for RV Sites Canada favoured the issue approach. The SDAB board decided the format of the hearing will be dealt with by issue and not appellant.
In June Stettler County approved the development permit application for the proposed 750 RV site project on 110 acres of land. Nine appeals were filed in July.
“The magnitude of the increased population from the RV Park is sudden and has not allowed infrastructure to budget, grow, hire or to build additional facilities,” said Darcy and Judy Peelar in their appeal. “The development permit doesn’t adequately address roads, hospital, EMS, fire or policing requirements.”
During the two-hour hearing on Aug. 16, appellants Judy and Darcy Peelar, and Julie Ruttan, asked the SDAB board if any of its members had any professional or personal bias. The SDAB board broke to discuss the issue, coming back to say no. The residents accepted the decision.
Site work on Paradise Shores started earlier this year. About 360 RV sites will be developed this year. More than 200 sites have been leased and 60 RV’s are parked in a temporary location.
Earlier this year the Summer Villages of Rochon and White Sands filed disputes with the county over the proposed development but later dropped it after agreeing to a reduced density from 1,000 RV stalls to 750.
In March about 400 people attended a public hearing in Stettler for the high-density RV development. Twenty people spoke against and the developer spoke in favour. The county received 32 letters of support and 121 submissions against.
In addition, both Lacombe and Camrose Counties gave Stettler County letters of concern over the project saying 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. The opposing counties took issue with the developer not completing requirements of the Environmental Review because the environmental studies only covered Phase I of the development but the developer asked for approval for all three phases.
Paradise Shores RV Resort development includes a clubhouse, fitness area, coffee and juice bar, a swimming pool and tennis.
According to RV Sites Canada Vice-President Mark Burke, the development has already injected millions into Stettler’s economy through using local contractors, hiring labourers and buying food and supplies for the site and work crews.