Stettler County will begin the process of getting a court order to remove two recreational vehicles (RVs) from a lot near Buffalo Lake, the presence of the two vehicles violating the municipality’s Land Use Bylaw (LUB).
The decision was made unanimously at the Feb. 23 Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) meeting.
The MPC board is comprised of county council and chaired by Coun. James Nibourg.
Development Officer Jacinta Donovan presented the issue of two RVs located on a parcel near Buffalo Lake that violated the county’s LUB.
“A stop order was issued on Nov. 4, 2021 to the property owner of Lot 55 Block 2 Plan 0720960 due to non-compliance of Sections 76.1 and 76.2 of the County’s Land Use Bylaw,” stated the agenda memo.
The memo went on to state the LUB allows one occupied RV on a residential lot for 21 consecutive days if it has a valid permit and a second RV is allowed for five consecutive days if a temporary permit has been issued.
Donovan noted the primary permit in this case expired June 30, 2021 and no temporary permit was ever issued for the second RV. The agenda memo contained photographs taken of the two RVs on the lot.
The stop order was included in the agenda memo and the property owner was identified in that document as Wendy Christensen, R.R. #2 Trochu.
The stop order noted, “…you are hereby ordered to stop the unauthorized use of the Lands and comply with the Land Use Bylaw by immediately ceasing use of the RV as a dwelling unit, and ceasing the storage of the second RV by removing it immediately from the property.”
Donovan stated in her report the situation hasn’t changed.
“No action was taken by the landowner to address this matter of non-compliance,” stated the report. “The subject property remains in contravention of the county’s Land Use Bylaw.”
Reeve Larry Clarke asked if one or both of the RVs can now be removed by the county. Nibourg responded, “That is where we’re at, I think.”
Donovan noted Stettler County has been in contact with Christensen and the property owner claimed that when they purchased the property they were under the impression it was okay to have two RVs on it.
County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy stated that the property owner’s lawyer contacted Stettler County with some questions that staff tried to answer, but then, “…it just fell off the radar.”
Cassidy also noted Stettler County would have to go to court to get an injunction to remove the two RVs.
Reeve Clarke stated he was in favour of proceeding with the court order process to allow the county to remove the RVs.
CAO Cassidy noted the legal costs for seeking the court order can be passed on to the property owner and, if needed, transferred to their property taxes.
Councillors unanimously approved Stettler County seeking an injunction with the intent of removing the two RVs from the property in question.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter