South Peace News
Big Lakes County is giving a second look at a bylaw to allow property owners to host up to four recreational vehicles on their property.
At its regular meeting July 8, council directed administration to prepare a land-use bylaw to allow a maximum four RVs on properties larger than 2.5 acres in the communal recreation district from the current maximum of two.
The recommendation to support a request from Southwest Shore Estates in Joussard was presented by Pat Olansky, director of planning and development
Council defeated the proposed bylaw amendment in a 4-4 tie at its meeting June 10.
“Administration was requested to bring the proposed bylaw amendment back to council for reconsideration,” Olan- sky says.
Council voted 9-0 in favour of the bylaw proceeding after eight property owners promoted the proposal and Southwest Shore as a delegation in the meeting.
“I think it’s time to give them what they want,” says Reeve Richard Simard, who represents Joussard on council.
“They’ve been addressing this for 13 years.
“I don’t know why we can’t give them this, they deserve it.”
CAO Jordan Panasiuk says administration plans to return the bylaw for first reading at the July 22 meeting.
Most of the eight speakers say the 78-acre property with 22 sites has more then enough open space to increase the number of RVs.
“There’s all kinds of room to allow four RVs,” says Brian Bourgeault, who initiated the delegation.
“It’s about family and memories.
“For many of us, it’s our favourite place in the world,” he adds.
He says increasing the maximum to four RVs would allow property owners to host more family members and not exclude anybody.
“This is not a congestion issue at Southwest Shore as there is plenty of room,” Bourgeault says.
Most every site has a 40-foot forested barrier around its perimeter.
“It is very private and as a result, esthetics is not an issue as most everything is hidden by this barrier,” Bour- geault says.
He says 18 owners signed a petition to increase the maximum number to four.
Andre Berube says the increase would not hurt the environment.
“We enjoy the environment,” Berube says.
“We are not infringing on the environment.”
Danny Dion says the property is 95 per cent bush.
“It’s a plus for everyone,” Dave Banack says.
Property developer Shane White says property is a gem in the region.
“It’s a nature lover’s paradise,” White says.
He says the property owners and RV guests benefit the region.
“We are supporting the community,” White says.
“We have created employment in the community.”
If adopted, the bylaw amendment would also apply to Hilliard’s Bay Estates lots north of Hilliard’s Bay Road, Olansky says.
The land-use bylaw regulates the number of RVs allowed on lots within hamlet residential, hamlet estate residential, hamlet mixed use and communal recreation districts.