Graphic provided by County of Stettler

Huge RV resort proposed for Buffalo Lake

Some residents feel 800-lot RV resort too big for area

A proposed 800-lot RV park on the shores of Buffalo Lake is making waves.

An online petition to stop the project in the County of Stettler near the Summer Village of White Sands has collected more 800 signatures.

Darrell Hicke, who started the petition with a small group of concerned property owners, says they wanted to make sure that council got the message that a significant number of people are opposed to the development.

“The biggest thing is the size of it,” said Hicke, who lives in Calgary but has a home in White Sands where he plans to retire.

An 800-lot RV park could add 2,400 to 3,200 to the area on a nice summer weekend, he said.

“In a small area in the county it adds a tremendous amount of pressure.”

Hicke said many of those opposed recognize the area is suitable for development and are not opposed to any project going ahead.

“We’re not opposed to a development but certainly not of this size. It just doesn’t make sense.”

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.

County of Stettler has set a March 17 public hearing on the proposed area structure plan and rezoning application. It begins at 1 p.m. at the Stettler District Agricultural Society Pavilion.

The developers have proposed building Paradise Shores RV Resort in two phases. The resort 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.

Developer David Hamm told County of Stettler council in a presentation last week that the county made available on its You Tube feed that he has had an “amazing response” from RV owners and a third of the park is already pre-sold.

“There is a demand for this.”

To protect the lake and its riparian areas, no lots will be built within 30 metres of the province’s right-of-way along the edge of the lake. Walkways would be raised above riparian areas.

An environmental protection plan is proposed to address potential impacts to fish, wildlife, vegetation, soils, terrain, the water and shoreline.

The developers plan to upgrade the existing public boat launch to accommodate additional boat traffic.

“The idea is that we’ll help and expand that public launch as part of our development,” said Hamm.

County director of planning and development Johan van der Bank said many objections to the project have been received.

He said the property has been identified in various plans as a potential RV park.

“It’s a new proposal but it’s not a new idea in the larger context of that area,” he told council.

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