The County of Barrhead will soon have another campground.
Councillors unanimously approved a development application for a 125-stall serviced recreation vehicle park near Lac La Nonne during the municipal planning commission (MPC) portion of their Aug. 6 meeting.
The campground will be constructed in two phases, with the first phase consisting of 50 powered stalls and being marketed as seasonal.
Development officer Jenny Bruns said the 160-acre parcel is located in an Agriculture District and serviced campgrounds are allowed as a discretionary use.
The stalls would be roughly 50’ by 80’ and the total developable area would be 21.5 per cent of the parcel.
Several proposed facilities would be built on the campground, including a central office, wash facilities and water treatment, maintenance and electrical buildings.
The campground would also feature covered picnic areas, fire pits, playgrounds, a horseshoe pit, a garden space, two fenced dog areas, a stocked fishing pond and a storage yard, primarily for off-highway vehicle trailers.
“Potable water will be available through a cistern and in the future, there are plans for a well,” Bruns said.
“Wastewater from the central office building will be serviced with a field system and sani-dump station.”
Bruns added each site would also have a 500-gallon tank for RV wastewater collection, noting waste and recycle bins would be sprinkled throughout the campground.
She added that because the proposed campground was a significant change to the area, staff canvased residents asking them for their comments.
The county received four letters objecting to the development, the last of which was signed nine area residents.
“Some of the concerns presented include a deterioration in road conditions, increased traffic and dust, noise and additional waste, ATV use, that there are too many RV resorts in the area already, increase in the use of the La La Nonne public docks, loose dogs affecting livestock, water availability, and impact on water systems and an increased fire hazard.”
Bruns said administration recommended approving the application, as it meets the discretionary use of the Land-Use Bylaw and fulfills the goals under the county’s Municipal Development Plan by “recognizing the importance of recreational and historical resources in promoting the county to visitors and residents as a viable place to live, work and play.”
She added they also asked the applicants to conduct topographical, water drainage, and elevation studies.
“The work has been done to show the site can work with the land use and drainage will be handled properly,” Bruns said.
She added that the applicants have been working with Alberta Environment and Parks and to date have no objections.
Coun. Walter Preugschas asked how the applicants planned to deal with the dust from the extra traffic on Township Road 575.
Don Yurkewich, one of the applicants, said the county would be applying their dust treatment formula on about 1.6 kilometres road leading to the campsite, at their expense.
Bruns noted that as one of the conditions for approval, area residents’ concerns would be dealt with through development and road-use agreements with the county.
Coun. Darrell Troock said while he supported the application they needed to ensure the private road inside the campground was wide and strong enough to withstand emergency vehicles.
Preugschas said he shares the concerns of residents who believe the area already might have too many RV parks and campgrounds.
County manager Debbie Oyarzun and Troock said the ultimate test was how many campground applications they receive and how successful they are.
Bruns agreed, stating they are in within an hour of Edmonton and the county will continue to receive applications for similar developments in the Lac La Nonne area.
“They [RVers] are losing more and more of them, the one in Alberta Beach is gone, roadsides are done, and a lot of communities are getting rid of their weekend sites and going all season rentals,” Troock said, adding that demand has to go somewhere.
Preugschas also asked how the applicants were going to deal with resident’s concerned about off-highway (OHV) vehicle use.
Yurkewich said the park rules would prohibit the use of any gas-driven OHV’s and they would police it by having their guests keep them on trailers in a secured parking lot.
“It reflects the type of guests we will be seeking,” he said. “We will be a family campsite, where people can come and use the trails and make use of our amenities on-site, we won’t even be allowing the use of generators.”
His wife, Terry noted there would also be a manager on-site at all times to deal with park infractions, such as barking dogs.