Election may stall resort

An election shakeup at Lacombe County could mean further delays for developers behind a proposed 1,125-lot RV resort on Gull Lake.

An election shakeup at Lacombe County could mean further delays for developers behind a proposed 1,125-lot RV resort on Gull Lake.

County Reeve Terry Engen and Councillors Linda Landmark and Bill Knight have announced they won’t be running in the Oct. 18 election.

That means only the minimum four councillors are left to form a quorum on projects partway through pre-election approval processes, such as the Sandy Point RV Resort.

Rezoning and other bylaw changes for Sandy Point passed second reading on Thursday.

If one or more of the remaining councillors loses their seat, the Sandy Point RV Resort application would have to go back to first reading unless a development agreement is hammered out with the county and third reading happens before the Oct. 18 election.

County commissioner Terry Hager said getting a development agreement together by the election will not be easy.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” said Hager. “We’re still waiting for some more information that we’re waiting for the developer to provide.

“You have to appreciate this isn’t the only development agreement we’re working on. We have four of them that are actually in that same type of process and circumstance.”

The developers would not be back to square one.

Numerous studies and other background work could be used when a new application is filed.

Also, another public open house would not be needed.

A delay of several months, though, would likely result as first reading was held and then another public hearing, and third reading.

Co-developer Lance Dzaman said most of the answers the county is looking for are available now.

Asked whether he was concerned about possibly not getting an agreement before the election, he said,

“We’re aware of the process. And we are looking to try to get all those questions answered.”

Dzaman got some good news when an 11th-hour amendment proposed by Councillor Cliff Soper that would have seen only first stage of the project receive approvals did not get the support of council. If approved, the developers would have been able to proceed on only 575 lots. The next 550 would have had to come back for another approval.

Splitting the project like that would have handicapped the project because amenities built in the first stage are paid for as the second stage is developed.

“If you take half the lots, but you want the same amenities put in place, then financially it becomes very difficult,” he said outside the meeting.

“The project has already been cut to two stages from three, eliminating about 550 lots, to address area concerns about the size of the RV resort, which is located on the west side of Gull Lake, north of Aspen Beach Provincial Park.