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Board denies Forest Heights campground appeal

Expansion of a golf course campground northeast of Sundre can go ahead
mountain-view-county-news

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s subdivision and development appeal board (SDAB) has denied an appeal of an earlier municipal planning commission (MPC) approval of a development permit for the expansion of a campground northeast of Sundre.

The board’s Oct. 5 decision followed an appeal hearing on Sept. 23. 

In August, the MPC approved an application by Forest Heights Golf and County Club for a development permit for a recreational resort - additional five RV sites at the current 20-site campground in the Eagle Valley rural neighbourhood. 

A notice of appeal of the permit was filed on Aug. 25 by appellants Douglas McCullough and Frank Greif.

During the Sept. 23 appeal board hearing the appellants cited 12 reasons for their appeal of the permit approval, including the following:

• That the MCP did not fully take into consideration various provisions of the Land Use Bylaw 16/18, in particular the definition of a “public facility."

• That the MPC did not fully take into consideration various provisions of the Land Use Bylaw 16/18, in particular the definition of “unrestricted country development”

• That the MPC did not fully take into consideration various provisions under the Municipal Government Act and the Alberta Energy Regulator, established regulations, definitions and procedures regarding sour gas facilities.

• And, that the MPC did not know and therefore did not take into consideration the fact that a hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) well, with associated infrastructure, was within 1,500 metres of the proposed development. 

The respondent/applicant cited 14 points in response to the appellant, including the following:

• The respondent submitted that the proposed development was circulated to the Alberta Energy Regulator who responded by supporting the definition of unrestricted country development being applied to the proposed development. 

• The respondent submitted that as the proposed development is unrestricted country development, the proposed development requires a setback of 500 metres from the Level 3 pipelines, currently licensed to Pieridae Energy. 

• The respondent noted that the proposed development is currently contemplated to be 560 metres from the Level 3 pipelines. 

• The respondent commented that the proposed development was evaluated against the regulations outlined in Section 10.18 of Mountain View County Bylaw 16/18 and the previously submitted application and determined that the proposed development adequately met those requirements.

In denying the appeal, the SDAB cited 17 reasons for its decision, including the following:

• The board accepts the submission from the respondent that the proposed development was evaluated against the requirements for a recreational resort contained within Mountain View County Bylaw 16/18 and determined that the proposed development satisfied those requirements listed within the bylaw. 

• The board determined that the proposed development with associated 100-foot setback from the Eagle Valley Cemetery is an acceptable discretionary use within the parks and recreation district and did not receive information as to how the additional lots requested provided a material change on the impact on the operations of the Eagle Valley Cemetery compared to the developments existing on the lands. 

• The board determined that the proposed development complies with the regulations as outlined within Mountain View County Bylaw 20/20 “Municipal Development Plan”. 

• While the board accepts that the lengthy history associated to development on the lands has impacted landowners in the area and appreciates the struggles that were presented by the appellant relative to past compliance, the board is required to review the proposed development on its own merits and did not receive satisfactory evidence as to how the proposed development would negatively impact adjacent landowners. 

• The board determined that there is a satisfactory complaint-based policy in place by Mountain View County to deal with any issues rising from non-compliance of development permit conditions which are available to the appellant if they are not satisfied with the resolution of previous permit conditions.

On top of conditions outlined in the original permit approval, the board added a number of additional conditions, including that the “applicant and/or landowner shall ensure that the development of the additional five RV sites maintain a minimum setback of 100 feet from the property lines of the Eagle Valley Cemetery.”

Under the provincial Municipal Government Act, the appellant has 30 days to appeal the SDAB decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

 



Dan Singleton

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