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Forest Heights Golf & RV Resort denied development permit for expansion

Applicant has 30 days to appeal the Mountain View County's municipal planning commission's Feb. 2 decision

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s municipal planning commission has denied a development permit for a proposed expansion of the recreation resort at the Forest Heights Golf & RV Resort in the Eagle Hill/Westward Ho area northeast of Sundre.

The denial came by way of motion at the commission’s Feb. 2 meeting, held in person and on Zoom. The commission is the county’s approving authority, made up of public members and county councillors.

The applicant had requested the development permit for recreational resort expansion - 20 seasonal lots for park models or recreational vehicles. The $150,000 project would have seen the expansion of the existing 25 RV site resort at the site, located approximately 10 kilometres north of Highway 27 and Twp. Rd. 340.

The applicant said the lands for the proposed expansion are appropriately zoned Parks & Recreation and is a discretionary use that can be supported.

A number of letters of concern about the proposed expansion were received by the commission, outlining concerns such as proximity to the existing cemetery near the site, concerns with the proposed new entrance, having park models allowed, and potential increased water usage.

In one letter, area resident and landowner Jack Johnson said, in part, “I have no personal grudge with the ownership of Forest Heights. I have no opposition to a golf course that’s grandfathered into an ag-zoned section of the county. 

“I am opposed to being dragged back into a conflict that should’ve never been a discussion in the first place. While Forest Heights owns approximately 126 acres, they insist on developing inside the 0.5 per cent of it that should be protected by existing zoning regulations and planning decisions that are on record and are a point of law.”

In another letter of concern, area resident and landowner Anne Macklin said, in part, “As a resident who has faced water concerns in the past I am already concerned about water use by an additional 20 units in the summer. Twenty permanent dwellings having the potential to use a limited resource year-round, and water is becoming an ever-more limited resource, is even more concerning.”

The commission defeated the motion to approve the development permit, citing three principal reasons for refusal:

• Letters of objection received by the community (regarding) water availability for the community and the water licences that are in effect, infringement of the driveway on the 100 foot buffer zone, an oversight of full permitting.

• Alberta Environment and Parks water licence and reporting with the number of water licences attributed to this development and what further licences will be required for this development.

• The recreation resort was designed for recreation vehicles and not park models.

The applicant has 30 days to appeal the commission’s Feb. 2 decision.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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