Stettler County, Paradise Shores clash during subdivision appeal board hearing

Recreational development permit deemed incomplete, developer appeals

The controversy surrounding Paradise Shores RV park continued during a County of Stettler subdivision appeal board (SDAB) hearing on June 5.

The review of the 318 campsites and RV development around Buffalo Lake came after the county and developer disagreed on whether the information initially provided was complete.

County of Settler director of communications Niki Thorsteinsson stated the county’s position was that it wasn’t complete.

“There was not enough information to take to the Municipal Planning Commission so the permit was sent back to the developer,” she explained.

“The developer disagreed and thought it was complete enough, so appealed the decision.”

The hearing was only based on arguments on the “completeness” of the application between the two parties — Paradise Shores owner Dave Hamm, who was joined by his lawyer Robert Shuett, and the county which was represented by a lawyer and its development authority.

People opposed to the development as well as several leaseholders in the development were also in attendance.

The SDAB must now issue a decision by June 20. If the application is deemed complete, the county would have to process the permit. If the application remains incomplete, the county stated it would enter into further discussions, which could include requesting a new permit application.

The original submission outlined a plan for the 83 acres that included walking and biking trails, concessions, docks, a splash park, an aqua glide water park, sports courts, parking and 318 campsites.

Hamm, in a letter, stated the unfortunate SDAB decision needs to be addressed this camping season.

“The resort’s 221 families who have chosen Settler County and Buffalo Lake as their preferred destination for family fun for decades to come, need clear signals and definite action in order to show that this project is not going away,” the letter said.

The appeal hearing is part of the ongoing saga and comes on the heels of a stop work order issued last month, which listed 41 conditions to met by a deadline of June 17. One of which was the removal of RV units.

“We are hoping the developer meets compliance, so we can get people back on their camping spots, but we can’t do that at the peril of health and safety,” Thorsteinsson added.

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