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Forest Heights campground expansion approved despite opposition

Five more RV sites to be added to existing campground northeast of Sundre

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The county’s municipal planning commission (MPC) has approved a development permit application to add five more recreational vehicle (RV) sites to an existing campground at Forest Heights northeast of Sundre.

The move came by way of motion during the Aug. 5 commission meeting, held in person and via Zoom.

Located about 10 kilometres north of Highway 27 on Rge. Rd. 44 and Twp. Rd. 340, the campground currently has 20 RV sites.

The parcel size involved a total of 129 acres, of which 13 acres is the area for all the campground sites and recreational green areas associated with the sites. 

The applicant is Forest Heights Golf and Country Club Ltd., and the total value of the RV site addition project is $125,000.

“The new sites will be located east of the existing sites and will be integrated with the existing sites into one campground,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission.

“The sites will be serviced in the same manner as the existing site, which include power and water as well as a pump out tank system to handle the sewage at each site.”

Several letters of objection were received regarding the application, with concerns raised about Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) approvals and the classification of public facility, members heard.

“In terms of failing to adhere to measures designed by the AER for the safety of the public, the addition of five more RV sites is simply going to make a bad situation worse. No more RV sites should be added to Forest Heights,” one letter writer wrote.

The applicant submitted a letter to the commission in response to the objections, stating, in part, that, “We are currently classified as unrestricted country development and this would not change with the addition of five additional RV sites according to the AER. The AER has approved the additional five sites providing it is outside 500 metres of the Shell’s sour gas pipeline,” the applicant said.

Commission members passed a motion approving the development permit.

The approval comes with a number of conditions, including the following:

• The applicant and/or landowner shall ensure that all occupants of the campground unit sites enter into a rental, lease and/or agreement with the landowners to ensure campground regulations and rules are followed.

• There shall be no ATV, off-road vehicles, and/or dirt bikes used within the campground facility by any occupant of the sites, nor shall the campground facility be the staging area for ATV, off-road vehicles, and/or dirt bike uses. Golf carts shall be permitted.

• There shall be no camping or public occupancy at the RV sites from Nov. 1 to March 31.

• The applicant and/or landowner must contact the pipeline operators of the sour gas pipeline located along the westerly boundary of the subject property, to notify them of the expansion and for inclusion of the campground unit sites within the emergency response plan program.

• As per AER, a minimum setback of 500 metres shall be maintained between the campground sites and the Level 3 sour gas pipeline located along the westerly boundary of the subject property.

The MPC is made up of county councillors and appointed public members, and is the municipality’s approving authority.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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