Paradise Shores takes appeal to court

Paradise Shores, a budding development along the south edge of Buffalo Lake, has decided to take the decision made by the County of Stettler Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) to court.

A date set for Dec. 19 will give the Calgary Courts a chance to review the application to appeal the SDAB’s decision and make their own judgement whether to move forward with an appeal process based on these facts. Paradise Shores found the decision to be incorrect after they claim the SDAB made many mistakes during the process.

This included things like: ‘Failing to act fairly by basing its decision on an issue that was not properly indicated or set out in the relevant hearing documents including the agenda’; Taking topics into account that are solely the Municipal Government Board’s jurisdiction; incorrectly finding inconsistencies between various statutory plans; and failing to show deference to an intermunicipal agreement to name a few.

On February 18, 2018, Paradise Shores made a presentation to Stettler County Council highlighting the project in detail.

At the time, council moved first reading of the Paradise Shores area structure plan and another bylaw that would rezone the area to fit the needs of the development.

In March, a public hearing was held to obtain feedback from the public regarding the bylaws and how they would affect the Summer Villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands that reside near the lake and the development site.

Many were opposed to the development, voicing their concerns.

This uproar was backed by Rochon Sands and White Sands as they filed letters of disagreement that can be sent according to the Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) set out for the area in case of disputes such as this.

The letters emphasized the large density of units that were expected to be developed. The original plan was to have 1,000 units stationed near the popular lake.

Paradise Shores agreed to reduce the number of sites to 750 to which the summer villages still disagreed with.

On June 13, Stettler County Council passed the bylaws to accept the reduced amount of RV sites under the proposed area structure plan.

A development permit to create 370 sites of the 750 approved was subsequently issued. This decision was then taken to the SDAB.

In mid-September, the SDAB heard the appeal of the development permit where they made a final decision in early November.

The role of the SDAB is to enhance local and regional land use, planning and development by providing the opportunity for an independent review of planning and development decisions.

They decided to cut back the number of lots even further to 168 from 750.

“This dramatic reduction in potential RV sites will severally impact the financial viability of the development as well as affect the rights of numerous leaseholders,” said the letter asking to appeal the decision.

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