Ag land rezoned for skeet range and campground

Land that sits near Highway 20 has been rezoned from agriculture to recreational for the development of a skeet shooting range

With no opposition and 20 years of planning behind the idea, a chunk of land that sits along the Wetaskiwin County-Ponoka County border near Highway 20 has been rezoned from agriculture to recreational for the development of a skeet shooting range and possible RV park.

“I had the idea 20 years ago and we tried then but we didn’t have a suitable piece of property,” said landowner/developer Bob Blackmore.

Approximately 156 acres will be rezoned for the recreational skeet-shooting facility. “If the skeet facility is successful the developer plans for possible future 23-unit recreational vehicle campground,” said development officer Jarvis Grant.

“Surrounding parcels are agricultural quarters, with one of the adjacent parcels being privately owned and the others being Crown Land,” he added.

The farmland assessment of the land is below 30 per cent, which makes the rezone compliant with the county’s Municipal Development Plan, says Jarvis.

Alberta Transportation has no issues with the principle of the rezone but stated if traffic generated by the operation of the business creates an “unacceptable safety hazard” to the highway traffic Blackmore will be required to improve the intersection.

Before coming to council Blackmore spoke with nearby landowners, two local businesses and other organizations about his proposed intent; generating much support in the community and over approximately 200 signatures on a signed document in support.

“I know in this digital age we were doing it the old-fashioned way but the little letter did go viral,” said Blackmore.

“I know that the local Fish and Game Associations wrote letters in, Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club of Drayton Valley and on the sign-up sheet the development officer for the County of Ponoka said he was in favour and signed it,” he added.

Blackmore said he figured he would be able to get 30 to 40 names in support of the project but is more than pleased with the response.

He also listed the deputy chief of the Edmonton Police Department and the tactical officer of the RCMP among his supporters.

Todd Brown, executive director of Firearms Institute for Rational Education, feels having the range would be a great opportunity for the county. “The need for education and a place to conduct these kind of hobbies is needed. And given the location of this I think it’s completely safe.”

“I fully support him in his venture And I think it’s good for everybody involved,” said Bill Blackmore.

“I think it’s a great activity that ca be family orientated and educational,” added Betty Blackmore.

“I support it too. I think it would be a good family outing for people to learn the safety of a weapon I think it’s a good thing to bring to this county,” said Irene Johnson.

The rezoning application passed the three readings with no opposition from council.

 

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