Red Deer County put its stamp of approval on a campground near Canyon Ski Resort that is about half the size originally proposed in the spring.
On Tuesday, the county’s municipal planning commission unanimously approved a discretionary use development permit application for phase 1 of the campground for 100-RV and 53-tent sites.
Canyon’s owners previously proposed a 202-RV and 70-tent site campground, but modified their plan to develop only along the upper Canyon Ski Road.
Phase 2 will also require a new discretionary use development permit application.
Phase 1 would be constructed on 55.82 acres, mainly within the northwest portion of the resort, on fairly open and flat land above the ski slopes. This area currently contains the tubing hill created in 2018.
But the future of the campground is still an unknown.
Ski hill owners David and Robyn Martel and her parents Alios and Marie Kunc wanted to postpone the traffic impact assessment during phase 1 now that the project has been broken up into phases.
They said summer camping traffic would be far less than existing winter traffic to the ski hill, and the cost of a $15,000 assessment could make them question the economic feasibility of the campground.
But the commission was firm that the traffic assessment was required by both the county and Alberta Transportation.
Mayor Jim Wood said he sympathized with the applicant on the cost of the assessment, but definitely saw a need for it at this time.
The conditions under the development permit also requires fencing, screening and security plans be submitted for approval.
The owners have proposed 24-7 security, in addition to a manned gate to the campground. Currently the property is fenced with a four-foot page wire fence on three sides along with barbed wire fence bordering Range Road 265.
Some of the concerns of nearby residents included dogs running at large, increased crime and littering, and noise pollution, as well as increased traffic and speeding.
Wood said the conditions outlined in the development permit should address the community’s concerns.
“Should we run into problems later, I believe we can always address it. They are coming in with phase 1. I’m sure that there’s going to be a successful phase 1 so they get a phase 2 one day.”
The location of the proposed campground is within the Collaborative Planning Area established within the City of Red Deer/Red Deer County Intermunicipal Development Plan. City administration had no objection to the proposal.