A small family-run campground near Gleniffer Lake that has been operating for years without necessary approvals has been cleared to go.
Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission approved on Tuesday a development application for the 25-site campground, 20 km west of Innisfail.
Owner Jack Oszli said he has been operating the campground for 12 years without any problems. The small campground is aimed at families and offers basic camping with no water or power hook-ups. Oszli, who has lived at the site for 30 years, said he does not allow ATVS or dirt bikes and campers are mostly weekend visitors.
County planning staff recommended the campground application not be approved because it is not permitted in an agricultural district. Also, the campground does not fall under the types of businesses considered as major home occupation businesses.
Nine letters of opposition were received by the county, mostly from residents in the nearby Silver Lagoon subdivision. They were concerned about the increase of activity associated with a campground.
Councillor Dave Hoar supported a permit for the campground.
“I know it is a little bit of a difficult fit to our current bylaw,” said Hoar. A small campground should be considered under the home business major designation.
County Mayor Jim Wood saw the campground as a suitable business under the county’s bylaw. A 25-site campground would not typically be considered a viable camping operation unless it was a small operation not much different than other county businesses that are allowed.
No complaints about the campground have been received in the last five years, said Councillor Penny Archibald.
The planning commission unanimously approved five-year conditional approval of the campground.