County RV land use discussion tabled until June 8

Council debates pros and cons of RVs on residential lots

The issue of the recreational vehicle land use bylaw has a long and contentious history in the County of Wetaskiwin. While council did discuss recommendations to move forward with the matter following the April 21, 2017, open house during its May 11 planning and economic development meeting the discussion was tabled until the June 8 meeting.

Tabeling the matter gives councillors the opportunity to review a legal opinion presented to council before the 2013 municipal elections, when not all current councillors sat in their elected positions.

“We really don’t want to rush this through just to get a settlement,” said Coun. Keith Johnson.

“We really do have to take our time. We’re never going to get it all right. We’re never going to make everyone happy and compliant,” said Coun. Terry Van de Kraats.

One of the biggest concerns the public voiced during the open house is the lack of enforcement of the bylaw by the county, historically.

“I feel we have dropped the ball in enforcement of our bylaws, and that’s totally (on) us,” said Johnson. “We’re going to have to find some way of enforcing what we bring into a bylaw.”

Councillor Garry Dearing says enforcing every point on every bylaw in a municipality is too expensive.

“No municipality enforces everything. We’re not any different than any other municipality as far as enforcement,” he added.

Currently the bylaw is complaint driven. Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers does not want the bylaw to become proactive only. She says it is too heavy-handed and expensive. “I don’t think the ratepayers would be happy either because that would be a lot of bucks.”

Van de Kraats had concerns with a solely complaint-driven model. “Nobody wants that in a community.”

Another issue causing differing opinions among the councillors is how to move forward with RVs on country residential-zoned lots.

“People want to use their recreational vehicles at the lake,” said Rooyakkers. She added she would like to see those living in country residential given the opportunity to apply for RV usage permits.

Coun. Larry McKeever says that would not be fair to those already living in country residential with the understanding they would be residing next to homes similar to their own, not in a mixed-use subdivision. “What are we saying to people who followed the rules for all those years?”

Rooyakkers asked if there was a possibility of investigating the implementation of lake districts around Pigeon Lake in the future.

Lake districts would require rezoning and public hearings, says assistant CAO Rod Hawken. Some people will not want to change their zoning. “It would be a large process,” said Hawken.

“In an ideal world there would be a development that allows for RVs,” said Van de Kraats.

Coun. Lyle Seely said no matter what decision council makes not everyone will be happy. “We can take the bullet today or we can take the bullet another day.”

The idea of grandfathering was mentioned during the open house and seemed to be popular among the RV users.

Hawken says there is a risk with grandfathering, as it condones non-confirming uses as legal in the county. “The passage of time does not make non-confirming uses conforming.”

County council will pick up its discussion at its June 8 planning and development meeting at 11 a.m. in council chambers. The meeting is open to the public.

 

Just Posted

Watch: Gravel truck turns into wrong off-ramp at Highway 2 Ponoka

The new Highway 2 and Highway 53 intersection at Ponoka caused some confusion for one driver

Pigeon Lake man’s remains found in ditch by Morinville

27-year-old Kevin Dean Damien Yellowbird had ties to Ma-Me-O Beach

County approves development plans with Ponoka, Camrose counties

First Nations collaboration remains county goal

Wetaskiwin county defers land use bylaw decision

Tempers remain high over RV controversy

VIDEO: Tragically Hip singer-songwriter Gord Downie dies at 53

Downie had been fighting brain cancer for over a year

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doctor

Olympic gymnast said she was 13 when the abuse started

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting child in April

Kate Middleton had announced she was expecting a child back in September

Prisoners in Canada among alleged leaders in massive opioid ring: US authorities

It’s being called the most prolific fentanyl-trafficking and money-laundering operations

Dodgeball is a wild sport – and Canada is very good

World championships set to begin on Friday outside of Toronto

Most Read