For months Lacombe County councilors in central Alberta, Canada, have been wrestling with how to implement changes to the county’s land use bylaw to create rules to specifically govern recreational vehicles and associated resorts, according to the Lacombe Globe.
From debates on permanency, the use of ATVs and over development, council has debated at length what to include in their amendments and what deserves a second look.
On Feb. 18, they got a step closer to shaping those rules as the council made it clear it was not prepared to impose special restrictions preventing year-round use at RV resorts.
“This is a brand new initiative for us,” said county Reeve Terry Engen. “We’re seen some good things around the province from our tours of other RV resorts and we’ve seen some mistakes that we don’t want to make.”
The council’s decision not to restrict resort use to certain seasons was opposed by Sunbreaker Cove Mayor Gib Clark, who pushed for some rigid regulations during the public hearing on the amendments.
“The fact is if it’s a three-season development, let’s make it a three-season development,” said Clark, whose summer village could be dramatically impacted by RV resort development, as the 500-lot Skyy Country Golf and RV Resort slated to be built right next to the summer village.
Co-developer of Skyy Country, Lance Dzaman, argued that such types of developments could include winter users and restricting RV resorts to three seasons would not allow those who want to use their RVs during the winter the chance to use them as a base for recreational activities.
Clark also urged the council to include regulations for high density resorts to set up their own onsite treatment plants for waste water rather than having it hauled away, and wanted to see the council make it “black and white” whether the public would be allowed to access recreational facilities within such resorts.
“The rules have to say it if the public is entitled to access the facilities,” he said.
But the council wasn’t swayed on any of Clark’s arguments.
County commissioner Terry Hager previously cautioned the council to keep in mind the fact that as the county lays down rules, they must also be prepared to enforce them. Hager also said that with a number of proposed resorts outlining the desires to have condo associations, such bodies would have their own set of rules for lot owners and some onus to make sure they’re followed.
“We want to be careful about how much we restrict a particular development,” he said. “Are we going to put ourselves in a position where we’re telling people when they can and can’t use their lots?”
With three large lakes within the county’s boundaries and interests in developing around Gull and Sylvan lakes intensifies, the county faces the potential of seeing a spike in RV resorts and a potential explosion in seasonal traffic to the areas lakes.