Agency Rejects RV Storage for Major Rec Area
The Rocky View County Council has rejected by an 8-1 vote an application for an outdoor RV and watercraft storage facility, located about three miles northwest of Cochrane, Alberta, a western suburb of Calgary.
Despite its location next to the Wildcat Hills gas plant and close proximity to a major recreation area, the council on Nov. 2 deemed the 25-acre agricultural plot unsuitable for industrial storage, The Rocky View Weekly reported.
“Unfortunately, these interests don’t coincide with some of the interests for the area,” said Division 9 Councillor Paul McLean. “What we are dealing with is a gateway area, and while I considered this application, I believe this is premature.”
The applicants, Kyle and Leanne Juneau, proposed a 12-acre development at full build-out, with the first phase accommodating 160 RVs and watercraft.
The applicants argued that due to the poor agriculture land, farming in the area wouldn’t be feasible. In addition, they said the area was badly in need of storage sites to accommodate the many recreational vehicles in Cochrane and at the Ghost Lake cottage development.
“All facilities in the area are currently full,” said Kyle Juneau. “If we could give people from this area a chance to legally park their RVs, that would be a good thing.”
Juneau also argued that a minor business corridor already exists in the area between the gas plant and Ghost Lake.
Several neighbous disagreed and spoke against the proposal citing increased crime, traffic and loss of agricultural land.
“This land was purchased in a farm and ranch district and it should stay that way,” said area resident Grant McNabb. “The residents of Grand Valley … don’t want a minor business corridor stretching from Cochrane to the new city of Cochrane Lakes.”
Dorothy Edge, an area rancher, was also opposed to the redesignation.
“It’s cattle country out there. They have been farming since the 1860s,” said Edge. “It shouldn’t be approved, leave it alone.”
Division 6 Councillor Greg Boehlke cast the lone vote in favor of the rezoning, saying the land is ideally located with access to a provincial highway.
Division 2 Councillor Kim Magnuson disagreed.
“Farmers and ranchers are feeling a great amount of pressure,” said Magnuson. “I see this as just the beginning of a slippery slope.”
Reeve Rolly Ashdown said that although he doesn’t want to discourage people, this proposal was premature.
“In the future, there is probably going to be an opportunity,” said Ashdown. “I just don’t believe it is the right thing for today.”