Provincial Court of Appeal Honourable Judge Justice O’Ferrall found the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) decision to reduce the number of lots at Paradise Shores to 168 after the decision was released on July 12.
In his decision, the judge noted that the reasons submitted by Paradise Shores’ attorney “do not raise questions of law or jurisdiction” and “has no grounds for a reasonable chance of success at a higher level of appeal.”
“Even in the absence of deference, the SDAB’s interpretations appear to be correct. They are certainly reasonable,” Judge O’Ferrall outlined in his conclusion.
The development has a stop-work order in place due to multiple concerns of safety but once these concerns are addressed by meeting the standards set by the SDAB, Paradise Shores can continue to develop.
Paradise Shores currently has 318 campsite or RV stalls.
In the past, it was noted that the reduction to 168 stalls was not a satisfactory number for the development to work with.
Although he has not been in contact with his client about the recent decision, Paradise Shores’ lawyer Robert Schuett mentioned, “It’s a tough decision so the reality is we have to review it and contemplate what our course of action is and I think that is the stage that we are at.”
The County of Stettler is remaining neutral on the development. “We’re pleased that there is a decision because it gives us direction forward and we continue to respect the development process,” said County of Stettler Planning and Development Officer Cara McKenzie.
The Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan (BLSSIDP) is set to be reviewed within the next year or two to engage in discussion with the other nearby communities including the summer villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands.
McKenzie noted that the goal is to get public input and keep everybody informed and take everybody’s opinion.
Discussions have already been happening between the lake communities and the county with positive reaction according to Graham Adamson, president of the Rochon Sands Community Heights Association.
“The county has also been involved in some of our association meetings and opening up communication channels between the residents and the county so I think that is good too. Hopefully, we can avoid stuff like this,” said Adamson.
“I mean we are not always going to agree but at least there is open communication and hopefully we can talk this through before it gets too far because it cost everyone money.”
Adamson found the lots remaining at 168 was what the community is most pleased about after the decision was released.
“It withheld the appeal boards decision so it was reducing the number of the lots which is what I think the residents of the lake wanted,” said Adamson.
“He did a nice job outlining what was going on in my opinion. It definitely made sense to all of us,” said Adamson.