A proposed RV resort on Gull Lake, that could ultimately include 1,500 lots and a 27-hold golf course, got a nudge in the right direction from Lacombe County council on Thursday.
Council decided that the Sandy Point project fit within the scope of the residential designation as outlined in the Gull Lake Management Plan, which provides broad development direction to municipalities around the lake. The decision was at odds with the view of the committee overseeing the management plan, comprised of Lacombe and Ponoka Counties and the Summer Villages of Gull Lake and Parkland Beach.
Lacombe County asked the committee to review an amendment to the plan to accommodate the RV resort on 750 acres on the west side of the lake proposed by Sylvan Lake developer Frank Wilson. The committee decided the development does not fit within the existing plan and suggested a scheduled 2010 review of the document be pushed ahead to this year.
But several councillors were reluctant to put the whole issue on hold while a review — which would likely not be completed until at least the winter of 2010 — was undertaken.
Councillor Rod McDermand said the county already has a lengthy list of planning jobs that need to be done and he was reluctant to see them delayed to squeeze in another major review.
McDermand also questioned why the Sandy Point development was being treated differently than other RV projects that had gone ahead. For instance, in Ponoka County, the Raymond Shores RV resort has been approved. The 85-acre recreational vehicle resort with 216 lots is being built on the northeast shore of Gull Lake.
Councillor Ken Wigmore, who voted against the motion in support of RV resorts, said council was faced with the decision to either “knock the wheels off” the management plan or to work with the committee.
Lance Dzaman, who is co-developer on Sandy Point, said council’s decision means the “wheels keep moving forward” on the resort plans.
However, the project has a long way to go before people will see lots take shape.
“It will take several years to come up with the appropriate plans, to work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and all the appropriate agencies,” Dzaman said.
Once approved, the project would be phased in over 20 years or more.