Better late than never: unpermitted RV gets County of Stettler permit

ECA Review/Screenshot
Written by Stu Salkeld


ECA Review/Screenshot

An unpermitted recreational vehicle (RV) received its County of Stettler development permit after two were found on agriculture land by municipal staff.

The development permit discussion was held at the Feb. 28 regular meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC).

Readers should note the MPC is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. James Nibourg.

Board members read a development permit application from Abubakar Khalid for property located on NE-14-36-20-W4M on Rge Rd 20-1 at the corner of Sec. Hwy. #835 and Twp Rd 40-2.

Development Officer Rich Fitzgerald noted county staff discovered two RVs on the parcel being used for living quarters.

“The property is zoned agriculture and is 24.98 acres in size,” stated the staff memo. “During site inspections last fall, planning staff noted that two RVs were present on the property and appeared to be in use.

Planning staff spoke to the landowner who indicated that the property was being used as a hobby farm with goats, chickens and miniature horse and the RVs were occupied occasionally by himself and sometimes a friend who looks after the animals.

The landowner was under the assumption at that time that the property was exempt from requiring permits, as in his view, it is a farming operation.

“A site inspection was performed on the property on Sept. 19 and two RVs were observed on the property, both of which were being used. Two seacans used for storage, several old RVs used as storage and many piles of building materials scattered around the property.

There were also goats, chickens and a miniature horse being housed on the property in a fenced off area.

The landowner was then instructed that to bring the property into compliance, an application would need to be submitted for the RVs being used as dwellings and the seacans being used as storage.”

In his application Khalid noted he was applying for one RV permit, stating that the second RV would be permanently removed by June 1, 2024.

Along with the development permit application, a number of sewer system safety codes certifications were also included; both Fitzgerald and Manager of Planning and Development Craig Teal stated at the meeting the County of Stettler asks for those documents from a certified inspector, which Khalid provided.

Board member Justin Stevens asked if converting an RV into a permanent dwelling was a concern, with Teal responding according to the documents the RV meets all applicable safety codes.

Reeve Larry Clarke asked if the second RV is not removed, would that allow the County of Stettler to issue a stop work order? Staff confirmed that would exactly be the case.
Fitzgerald elaborated that Khalid had been cooperative with county staff and staff expected full compliance for this development permit.

Fitzgerald then noted the property owner explained the second RV was still there because its axels had been removed to prevent theft and those axels had to be reinstalled before removal.

Board member Ernie Gendre asked about the seacans; Fitzgerald responded seacans are a permitted use in the agriculture zone, and don’t have to be considered by the MPC.

Board member Dave Grover asked for clarification on the sewer system certification. Fitzgerald answered the applicant uses a septic tank for storage; according to the inspection reports, the tank meets all requirements.

Teal added that such a septic tank is a legitimate method of storage and is found across the County of Stettler.

Board members unanimously approved the RV development permit with conditions as presented.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.