It’s an issue that Ponoka County has battled for quite some time and it looks as if RV parking on land may finally be coming to a head.
At council’s Aug. 11 meeting, a resident of Poulsens Pasture subdivision on the west side of Gull Lake made a presentation about the substantial number of recreational vehicles parking on undeveloped lots for long periods of time.
“I farm nearby and live in Poulsens and there is a lot more traffic this year, which is leading to increased pressure on recreational land as well as agriculture and subdivisions,” said Brad Weiss.
“It’s has always been a nice place, so I’d hate to see it go the route of a campground. Imagine trying to sell a home you’ve invested in with a empty lot across the street with three to six RVs on it?”
Assistant CAO Tom Webber pointed out that the bylaw covering that subdivision allows one recreational vehicle per lot without a development permit. Although, he added the county has had several run-ins with lot owners over the years about this.
“It seems to be a constant problem out there and the county is reactive, sending out the peace officer to visit and chat about the bylaw,” Webber said, who was there as CAO Charlie Cutforth was at another meeting.
“Some are even parked, but not used all the time and it gives the impression it is a trailer park.”
Weiss isn’t opposed to short-term use — such as a brief vacation or a family weekend get-together — just the long-term usage considering the potential septic issues.
“Going forward, this is a growing concern and there are legitimate business owners that pay taxes for their campgrounds,” he said.
Coun. Bryce Liddle, who ran the meeting as Reeve Paul McLauchlin was out at another meeting, said it was good this was brought forward.
“If they get used to it, and with no septic, we will run into trouble so I think we have to keep an eye on it,” Liddle said.
Coun. Doug Weir added, “We have to draw a line and send someone out to talk with them and if they persist then we need to deal with it.”
Webber also encouraged Weiss and any neighbour to contact the county with specific concerns in order that they can be dealt with promptly.
“Some come and go, two weeks and they’re gone, but the problem ones we will try and address — the ones that have fireworks every weekend, or people can’t park because of the number of boats and vehicles there,” Webber said, adding there is a homeowners association in the subdivision that could help out with a solution.
“If enough people on the association feel strongly about changing the bylaw, council could do that and ramp up enforcement.”