Big Lakes considers increasing number of RVs allowed on lots

Richard Froese
South Peace News

More residential lots in hamlets in Big Lakes County may be allowed to have one more recreational vehicle on their property.

At its meeting Sept. 9, council gave first reading to a proposed bylaw to increase the number of RVs within hamlet residential, hamlet residential estate, and hamlet mixed-use districts to two per lot from the current limit of one.

“The planning and development department has been requested to bring forward a recommendation that council consider amending the bylaw,” Pat Olansky, director of planning and development, says in a report to council.

While just two councillors voted against first reading, other members of council agreed with the reeve to give residents an opportunity to voice their opinion.

“Let the public decide,” Reeve Richard Simard says.

A public hearing is set for Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. in council chambers.

Simard admits he is one of several Joussard residents breaking the bylaw. He says he has two RVs parked on his property.

“People do it all the time, sometimes they have three, four, five RVs at one time,” he says.

He adds many people own more than one RV and use each for different purposes.

North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Ken Matthews and Grouard Councillor Fern Welch voted against first reading.

“I think this should be tied to the size of the lot,” Matthews says.

“Some lots are just too small for two RVs or even one RV.

“More RVs on one lot cause fire and safety issues.”

Up to four recreation vehicles are now allowed for each property of Southwest Shore Estates in Joussard.

At its meeting Aug. 12, council adopted an amended land-use bylaw that allows a maximum of four RVs on properties larger than 2.5 acres in the communal recreation district from the previous maximum of two.

The bylaw allows two RVs as permitted use and two RVs as discretionary use per site.

Enilda – Big Meadow Councillor Donald Bissell agrees the number of RVs should be related to the size of a lot.

Kinuso Councillor Ken Killeen says the higher number of RVs could lead to other issues.

“It’s zoned residential, it’s residential,” Killeen says.

“We create our own problems down the road.”

Located on the south shore of Lesser Slave Lake, Joussard is become a hub of RV tourism, South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart says.

“You have to realize that more people are doing that,” Stewart says.

“Whether they like it or not, the people of Joussard have to realize Joussard is a hot spot.”

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