Opposition to the proposed Paradise Shores RV Resort on Buffalo Lake was loud and clear at a public hearing held at Stettler Agri-plex on March 17.
Some people carried red “OPPOSED” signs as the meeting room filled to capacity. Throughout the meeting, cheers rang out from the crowd whenever someone raised objections to the 800-lot RV park.
Developers proposed building the resort in two phases and would include a store, restaurant, club house and other amenities such as a swimming pool, playgrounds, sports courts and water parks. A beach and marina are also proposed.
For the meeting, Stettler County received 121 letters opposing the project, almost four times as many as the 32 letters in favour the lakeside project.
An online petition to stop RV resort had collected more than 1,000 signatures from people who largely object to the size of the project. Other concerns include traffic safety and dust control on nearby roads, water sources and the impact on the lake as well as potential environmental effects and noise.
In addition, both the Summer Village of White Sands and Rochon Sands have initiated a dispute resolution process saying the Area Structure Plan and Land Use Bylaw violates the intention of the Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan.
Rochon Sands says the RV resort should be classified as a subdivision, while the resort’s developer Dave Hamm says it should be classified as a campground as lots would be leased, not subdivided.
The county tabled its two bylaws at the end of the public hearing as the disagreement resolution had to be dealt with first.
The dispute process requires administration from the county and villages to meet. If necessary it will move on to the Buffalo Lake South Shore Planning Committee to reach an agreement.
If the committee fails to reach an agreement then the matter goes back to the municipalities for mediation by an independent mediator.
If mediation fails it would return to the municipalities and the county can proceed with bylaw approvals. The villages can appeal the approvals to the Municipal Government Board for final resolution.