Sturgeon County (Alberta, Canada) will be holding a public hearing later in the fall regarding a plan to convert a farm between St. Albert and Morinville into a parking lot for up to 1,200 recreational vehicles.
According to a report, the county council voted 6-1 on August 23 in favor of the first reading of a bylaw to rezone 56 acres of farmland to recreational vehicle storage.
The lands concerned are located north of Highway 37 and east of Range Road 251, planning and subdivision officer Jonathan Heemskerk told council.
Most of the surrounding lands are farms, but the site has an auto body repair shop and a nearby small RV park.
The applicant hopes to accommodate up to 1,200 recreational vehicles on the property, which will feature a stormwater pond, sanitary dump station, vehicle turnaround, and a three-meter-high perimeter berm.
During last month’s debate on the bylaw, councilors expressed concerns regarding the potential pollution in the park due to leaky vehicles, as well as its use of farmland for other than agricultural reasons.
Councilor Kristin Toms stated that she was worried over the large number of RV park applications the county has received and pointed out that there is already an existing RV park within the region.
“I don’t want the county turned into a parking lot, but I do believe we need to give opportunities to do business.”
Mayor Alanna Hnatiw stated that majority of the county’s RV parks are small and situated on low-value agricultural land, which is not the case with this one.
The county recently voted to approve the conversion of high-value farmland for other purposes around Villeneuve Airport to help create long-term jobs–jobs an RV park would not create.
Councilor Neal Comeau said there is, unfortunately, a huge need for RV storage space in Sturgeon County, and that council should leave the construction of RV parks up the market.
Speaking on August 23, McLennan declared that the project goes against the county’s municipal development plan as it will not position the county as an agricultural leader.
The bylaw will go through a public hearing in September.
This story originally appeared on St. Albert Today.