According to a local news report, Athabasca County councilors in Alberta, Canada have approved a bylaw to rezone the quarter-section where the Athabasca Acres RV Resort is located from agricultural to commercial campground district, allowing for potential expansion or development of the resort.
During a public hearing, Christa Wilkinson, acting chief administrative officer and director of planning and development, informed the council that the campground, located about 16 and a half kilometers east of the Town of Athabasca, has been in operation since 2013 and currently has 50 stalls.
The campground’s current owners took possession in 2021 and converted it from a year-round campground to a seasonal one.
The purpose of the bylaw amendment is to allow for potential expansion or development, and the campground owners recognize that they will have to go through the development permit process before any expansion can occur.
According to Wilkinson, the property is mostly wetland, and only a portion of it could be cleared for haying, with about 20-30 acres currently cleared for use.
She noted that Alberta Forestry and Parks’ lands delivery division had indicated they had no issue with the rezoning, but a wetlands assessment should be conducted before any development occurs.
During the meeting, Division 5 Coun. Tracy Holland raised concerns about the county’s responsibility as stewards of agricultural land and asked how many acres are currently in use on this property and how many would be required for expansion.
Wilkinson responded that most of the property is wetland, and only a small portion can be cleared for haying.
The campground owners have indicated in a letter that they are respectful of their neighbors and their land, and anyone using the campground who trespasses on someone else’s property or otherwise abuses the land gets evicted. They also noted that there have been no issues raised from surrounding neighbors, farmers or authorities regarding the property’s use. The rezoning was passed with an 8-1 vote during the March 14 meeting, with no objections raised by adjacent property-owners to the rezoning, and no one present at the public hearing to raise an objection.
The rezoning approval for the Athabasca Acres RV Resort from agricultural to commercial campground district is significant for private RV resorts as it highlights the potential for growth and expansion for such businesses.
By allowing for potential expansion or development, the resort owners can now explore opportunities to improve their facilities and services to cater to the growing demand for RV tourism.
Moreover, the approval also shows the importance of adhering to the development permit process, which ensures that any development or expansion plans are assessed and approved with consideration for environmental and community impacts.
This process helps private RV resorts to balance the need for expansion with responsible land stewardship and community relations.
Overall, the rezoning approval for Athabasca Acres RV Resort serves as an example of how private RV resorts can navigate the zoning and permit processes to enable business growth while maintaining respect for neighboring land and communities.
It highlights the importance of responsible land use and development for the long-term success and sustainability of private RV resorts.