Alberta RV Park Plan Trimmed But It’s Still Big
The developer behind a massive RV resort on Gull Lake near Red Deer, Alberta, believes the project will overcome criticism that it is too big from some area residents, the Red Deer Advocate reported.
Co-developer Lance Dzaman said since it was first proposed several years ago, the Sandy Point RV Resort has been scaled down from 3,125 lots to 1,125. A third stage of development, which could have seen about 600 lots added in a future phase to bring full build-out to 1,750, has been dropped.
“It’s almost two-thirds smaller, 60% smaller,” he said.
Also, one of two marinas has also been eliminated from plans to address neighborhood concerns about overcrowding.
When first proposed, many of concerns from area residents centred around protecting the lake environment and disposing of sewage properly.
That did not seem to be a big issue at the recent public hearing, which drew about half the crowd of earlier meetings, he said.
“I think we answered all those questions because there weren’t a whole lot of them,” he said.
“Now they are concerned the population is too big.”
Besides reducing the number of lots, the developers have concentrated the RV lots in two areas of the site, instead of spreading them around the sides of an interior golf course, as was first envisioned.
Doing that means more land can be left in its natural state.
As the project now stands, only 170 acres of the 568-acre site will be used for RVs.
The rest will be left for the golf course and green space or will be protected as various reserves.
There will also be a buffer between the lake and the nearest RVs.
“That leaves a vast amount of green area and common area,” he said.
Dzaman is confident there is public support for the project.
“Any kind of public recreation is desperately needed in this area,” he said.
“And more along the lines of affordable recreation. When you’ve got million-dollar lots on the lake, it’s pretty tough for everybody to afford those.”
The project next goes to Lacombe County for second reading. The earliest that could happen is Sept. 16.
County Reeve Terry Engen said the size issue was “certainly the theme of the evening. A lot of people spoke and said they were certainly not against development but the sheer size of the numbers involved there was of great concern to them.”
Water issues, both the quality and quantity, were also on the minds of some, he said.
Engen said he has not come to any conclusion on whether the project is too big.
“You know, personally, I can’t even really comment on that. I always have a little bit of an issue with planning exercises that look out 50 years.
“I’m not sure we know what we’re going to do next week, let alone 20 or 30 years down the road.
“Size wise, who knows if it’s too big.”
Even if the project gets council’s approval to move forward, it may never reach its lot targets, he said.
Gull Lake covers more than 31 square miles.