Gull Lake campground developers win important appeal

Gull Lake campground developers win important appeal

Expensive paving requirement that could have jeopardized project is relaxed by appeal board

Developers have successfully appealed a potentially deal-breaking requirement that roads in a 290-spot Gull Lake campground expansion be paved.

Delta Land Co. Inc.’s Frank Wilson and Lance Dzaman were granted conditional approval by Lacombe County’s municipal planning commission in May to go ahead with the campground, which would be built in phases.

Among the conditions were that the interior roads be paved to county standards and that no off-season storage be allowed from October to April at the campground, which is located on the west side of Gull Lake, next to an existing 70-site campground near Delta’s Sandy Point Resort.

In appealing those conditions, Dzaman told the subdivision and development appeal board that the “requirement for paving the roads and trails in the campground expansion would create a huge expense and would make the campground unaffordable compared to other local campgrounds offering the same services.”

Dzaman pointed out the campground is seasonal and will only be open May through mid-October.

The developer had originally proposed gravel roads and trails, but told the appeal board that they could be surfaced with reclaimed asphalt, providing a harder surface, but it would not be up to the paving standard the planning commission required.

The appeal board agreed with the developers that their proposed hard-surfacing would be adequate, noting that two other campground expansions in the area were not required to pave their roads.

Seasonal campers will also be allowed to keep their RVs on site through the fall and winter seasons, relaxing a planning commission condition that no year-round recreational vehicle storage be allowed.

However, campers must remove other vehicles, boats, ATVs, golf carts and similar property during the off-season.

Dzaman said the campground expansion is designed to meet a growing demand for leased seasonal campsites. The tough economy means more people are looking for cheaper alternatives to buying lake lots in gated communities.

Each lot will be serviced with water, sewer and power. Each phase will include a washroom and shower building and play area. Thirty-four parking spots — a concern of some area residents — will be available for visitors in the first phase.

The developers said lots will likely be priced in the $3,500 to $4,000 range annually.

Construction is expected to begin on the first phase in the fall, with lots available for spring 2021.

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