A leaseholder at Paradise Shores RV Resort says she feels caught in the middle after hearing news of last week’s work stoppage order at the site on Buffalo Lake.
Stettler County’s municipal planning commission issued the order May 17 after deciding the developer hadn’t been following through with certain requirements of the development permit.
“Initially, I was quite shocked that the meeting was held on Friday the 17th, because I hadn’t heard anything about it in advance,” said Christina Friesen.
“The fact that it had happened was shared on a group Facebook page by one of the other leaseholders.
“The words that I have used to describe their decision was that they had a manufactured crisis,” she said.
For Friesen, the impasse is frustrating, because it’s stalling her family’s ability to enjoy their lease.
“I think I was probably one of the first five people to buy one,” said Friesen, who lives in Calgary. “I’ve been watching this for a long time. I purchased a lease in February of 2018.
“I will say that probably what (county) council is going to see, and what people in the county are going to see, is that folks who have leases are angry and they are essentially lashing out,” said Friesen, adding that when plans for the development were introduced, some residents in the nearby summer villages voiced concerns.
Friesen said some of the opposition to the development has made leaseholders feel they were under attack.
“So this kind of plays into where I see this going next. A lot of the other leaseholders are very, very committed. They love the area, they love Buffalo Lake. We’ve had a couple of wonderful people who really reached out and tried to build bridges with the local community,” she said.
“For me, I’d like to have my lot at the lake. It’s something my family has looked forward to for a long time,” she said, adding they had always rented a seasonal site before.
Friesen said she has had some misgivings about purchasing a lease.
“I’ve had no issues with the town of Stettler. It’s a nice town and I enjoy shopping there. A lot of us have made a real effort to support local businesses, too.”