Tax-paying RV owners not getting respect says writer

Councilor McKeever, you wanted to send a registered letter? …..oh really?

Dear editor,

Councilor McKeever, you wanted to send a registered letter? …..oh really?

I have been a lot owner at Buck Lake for 22 years now and it was not until the 2012 meeting there that myself or any of the people in our subdivision, and others, were ever told they could not use their RVs or have visitors stay in their RVs on their own property.

I have received 22 tax assessments and 22 tax receipts along with numerous other county notices, in the mail, since I bought my lot in 1994. Did anyone ever once think of putting a five-cent information flyer in one of those envelopes? Do you think that if we had been told twice a year for the last 22 years about the county’s interpretation of the bylaw this situation would exist? Do you think that if the numerous developers had known about the county’s interpretation of the bylaw they might have zoned differently to make their lots more salable?

It was not until the early 2000s that the word “residential” even appeared on my tax assessment. I would like to know who it is exactly that comes to my property every few years to look at it and raise my tax assessment and doesn’t see my RV sitting there. If it was not supposed to be there put a note on the door for crying out loud! It is my opinion (and many others like me) that the county has turned a blind eye to what people were doing with their RVs on their lots because it would have cost the county millions of dollars over the years in lost tax revenue.

Furthermore, did you ever give any sane thought to what exactly has been going on in Buck Lake the last few years since the brilliant decision to change the LUB?

Who really do you think is going to build a house at Buck Lake? First of all the economy is at a standstill. We have a grocery store and hardware store (both excellent I might add) that have been for sale for years and can’t sell. We have a hotel that burnt down three years ago and has not been rebuilt. We have a motel and shops that has been closed down for years now with no sign of reopening. We have many lot owners who are sitting on lots that they paid a small fortune for that now cannot stay on them and cannot sell for fear of losing a good part of their “small fortune”. There are also dozens of properties for sale in the town itself. Again I ask, who is going to build a house at Buck Lake? Our subdivision is 22 years old and has 60 plus lots. It has 18 houses (two under construction for many years now) and 48 RVs! That is a whopping total of 0.82 new homes built a year! Ask yourself, who is supporting this community?

You say you that “your personal opinion is that it is harsh to issue a stop order on a property that has been offside for 20 plus years” and you wanted to give them a five year grace period but it is your assistant CAO that was quoted in the Wetaskiwin newspaper saying the movement is under way to remove all RVs in the county. You also say that you are “a strong supporter of open houses” yet you conveniently scheduled an open house when none of us can make it. Four years ago in Buck Lake we had 450 people attend the open house to tell you this proposed LUB was unacceptable and it is my opinion Mr. McKeever that you are afraid those numbers may return if you were to schedule the open house in the spring when we can all make it.

In the end I would never wish the brunt of the anger to be directed at you and certainly not your wife but maybe look at yourself in the mirror, think about the thousands of families your land use bylaw has disrupted and wonder if maybe the brunt of the anger hasn’t been directed in the right place after all.

Doug Andrews, Edmonton

 

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