Paradise Shores urges quick IDP process

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Paradise Shores Developer Dave Hamm and Lawyer Robert Schuett visited Stettler County Chambers to talk process on Wed. Feb. 13.

Hamm felt the project has been a benefit to the community so far as they hire locally and do other business in the area in relation to the project.

“I do want to remind the County and the councillors of my desire and our desire to complete Paradise Shores in a timely manner,” began Hamm.

“That is why I’m here today. I want to complete it not just for RV Sites Canada or our company, although that is definitely a desire.

“I think that it has had a valuable impact on the business of Stettler, the town, the businesses of Stettler County. We’ve employed many people from Stettler County and want to continue to do so.”

Schuett began his opening statements by relaying the sequence of events since last year.

The Area Structure Plan was submitted to the County and given two summer villages of Rochon Sands and White Sands arose.

Out of this process, all three parties came to a consensus which became the document known as the Buffalo Lake South Shore Intermunicipal Development Plan (BLSSIDP) which took place in May 2018.

Neighbours of the newly forming development appealed to the SDAB which took place in September with the final decision made in October.

Paradise Shores then proceeded to take this decision to court by appeal.

The judge is currently in the process of coming up with a ruling at this time. Schuett then requested the County to consider reviewing the BLSSIDP as soon as possible so the development can proceed as an expedited view of the IDP, specifically with respect to the development.

“We have done our absolute best to adhere to every condition that we have been asked to from our development permit and I’m here before you saying I’m willing and wanting to do whatever it takes in order to get this moving forward,” said Hamm.

Requirements made in the document have asked Paradise Shores to have certain conditions met by a set timeline although not completely binding.

They expected a review of the new BLSSIDP to take place in the fall of last year.

“Through discussions between our client and the development authority of the County of Stettler, it was our client’s understanding that there was an expectation that they would be submitting a second development permit for the Phase 2 of the Paradise Shores Development and that would happen in fall of last year,” said Schuett.

Schuett did recognize that there are other factors such as the appeal taking place in the court system and the thorough review of the BLSSIDP by all three parties.

To amend the current BLSSIDP, the County and two summer villages must pass a bylaw amendment that recognizes the Area Structure Plan, the original plan where the reduced number of 750 sites from 1,000 sites were allowed to be constructed.

“We understand that the County intends to involve itself in a more thorough, in-depth review of the IDP.

That’s not what we are asking for today. What we are asking for [is] simply a review of the IDP to allow the development to proceed as was planned right from the Area Structure Plan phase.”

The lawyer explained that if this expedited review were to take place, the appeal involving the Court of Appeal would be mute as the County would step forward to officially amend the IDP by bylaw.

“If you have taken the extra step to ensure that this development can proceed, the Court of Appeal decision – I think at that point you have a case where the Court of Appeal doesn’t really matter that much anymore,” said Schuett.

Council requested the guidance of their lawyer from Reynolds Mirth Richards Farmer.

“I can only say right now that we all know that an amendment to a statutory plan requires a certain process in a bylaw,” began William Barclay. “We do not pass a bylaw nor did the summer villages as far as I am aware of. That said, you could if all parties agreed – the other municipalities – amend now or later if you wanted to but there would be a process involved in doing that including public hearings and agreement of all the other municipalities [who] would have to agree to the amendment to the IDP.”

Councillors reiterated their neutral standpoint regarding the situation to be fair to both parties including ratepayers and the developer.

“I find that right now you’re driving one vehicle wanting to go down two roads,” said Coun. Ernie Gendre, “and you’re trying to find the fastest road so if the Court of Appeal doesn’t really work, you want to have another option open which is, by all means, good for you but it is also one that I believe in the three-way here, the County of Stettler and two villages have three votes and we only have one vote.”

Council will further examine the situation as they prepare to come up with a potential solution.

Coun. Wayne Nixon added, “I certainly appreciate your predicament gentleman but you have to also appreciate we have to decide on this and it’s going to take a little thought and a little research on our behalf to come up with a solution.”

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