A major RV development that would see 500 lots created near the east shore of Sylvan Lake was given a key show of support from Lacombe County council Thursday.
Councillors endorsed a concept plan for Skyy Country Golf and RV Resort and gave final reading to a bylaw rezoning 148 acres of agricultural land near the Summer Village of Sunbreaker Cove for resort use.
The resort, to be built in four phases, will include a recreation area with tennis courts, a small water park similar to Red Deer’s Discovery Canyon, and a nine-hole, par-three golf course.
Co-developer Lance Dzaman said they will now begin work lining up subdivision approval and finalizing other details.
“We will certainly move forward as fast as we can, as fast as we are allowed to,” said Dzaman. “It would be wonderful to have a shovel in the ground next spring or summer sometime.”
If construction can begin next year, the first lots could be ready for RVs in 2011. Marketing efforts could begin at RV shows over the winter.
The project has proven controversial. Sunbreaker Cove fear the resort will pull in thousands of seasonal residents, who will swamp the local boat launch and jam up local roads.
It was out of concern for local sensibilities that an earlier proposal to set aside 84 lots for daily renters, in addition to 423 condominium lots, was scrapped in the concept plan brought to council, said Allan Williams, county manager of planning services.
The new plan included 515 condominium lots and no daily use lots.
However, several councillors took issue with that design.
“I believe day use is good,” said Councillor Rod McDermand. “As a councillor, I believe that is a needed venue in that area.”
“In my view, this reduces public access,” said Councillor Cliff Soper of the proposal to drop lots available for a daily fee.
Councillor Linda Landmark also expressed her disappointment with the plan change. “I thought that was a uniqueness in that park that has been lost.”
It was proposed that daily rental spots be put back in the concept plan. A brief break was taken to see whether Dzaman and co-developer Frank Wilson would be willing to alter their plans.
When council resumed, it was revealed the developers had planned to allow the owners of lots to rent out their spaces when they weren’t using them, creating a supply of spots for those who want to stay overnight or for a few days.
That revelation led councillors to suggest only about half of the original 84 daily rental spots might be required.
Councillor Cliff Soper said he was uncomfortable that council was only hearing for the first time there would be an option to rent condominium units. He suggested an unsuccessful motion to table the rezoning bylaw until council has had a chance to go over the details of the proposed RV park again.
Soper and Councillor Keith Stephenson later voted against the rezoning.