Community rallies against proposed Rosedale land development
A public hearing to consider a bylaw amendment to redesignate a former golf course in Rosedale was held during the Town of Drumheller Council Meeting on October 17 and was attended by over 50 residents from the Rosedale community.
The proposal, submitted by Bob and Norah Hamilton, is to change the land use from urban transitional district to residential cottage housing district.
The urban transition (UT) zone is intended to maintain land that is designated for urban use. In areas planned for development, transitional use may be allowed as long as it does not interfere with the later use of the land. The residential cottage housing (R-CH) refers to land made for seasonal use. R-CH zones can only have two uses, common buildings such as washrooms or recreational areas and small scale residential buildings. Recreational vehicles, park models are seen as discretionary in these zones.
The application submitted was for a proposed development of 87 campsites, a convenience store, administration facilities, mini golf, water park, and two large commercial tents for activities. Included in the proposal is a water well for irrigation purposes. Because the description of R-CH zones does not include any commer- cial use, anything built on this land needs to be for the residents of the land only.
Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk said, “Zoning doesn’t allow for commercial use. A water park or mini golf would be seen as commercial and that is not allowed in this zone.”
Palliser Regional Municipal Services spokesperson Cynthia Cvik said, “Palliser recommends that Council dismiss the proposal due to the nature of concern by residents in the surrounding area and the continual changing of the plans for the site. Palliser also notes that the proposal should be
dismissed because it does not keep within the residential nature of this part of the community and the residents would be negatively impacted.”
Preceding the public hearing, the Town of Drumheller received 47 letters addressing the bylaw amendment concerning this property. In accordance with the proper process, on July 26 Palliser Municipal Services presented 57 letters of notification of the proposal. The property has 20 parcels of land that are considered adjacent but according to local residents many more will be affected by this development.
At the public hearing many people spoke out in objection against the proposed plan.
Justin Chambers said, “I bought my home out there not expecting this. My biggest concern is my children. There are 10 plus kids in my cul-desac that would be affected.”
Local resident, Marnie Peterson walked around the neighbourhood to see the general tone of the community on the matter. Marnie Peterson said, “The general tone was very against a campground and transient living. Anything that is not permanent we are against.”
In response to Councillor Jay Garbutt questioning how they will address the numerous concerns, Bob Hamilton said they will build an eight or ten foot fence and plant lots of shrubs to help muffle any noise. Bob also reassured the residents and councillors that they already have cut back the RV lots by 50 percent and plan to develop only the upper level for the RV lots. The lower level would be designed to incorporate a park as well as a recreation area.
Bob said, “We plan to develop a high end campground with mini golf and water park. Everything will have an artistic flare to it.”
The Hamiltons also said that they wanted to offer a community membership for everyone to gain access to the recreation areas.
After the Hamiltons responded to the concerns and questions of the community the public hearing was closed. Later, during the regular Town Council Meeting, Council took the advice of Palliser and the concerns of the communi- ty and five councillors verbally opposed the proposal. The proposal was rejected.
Councillor Hansen-Zacharuk said, “I could not, in good conscience, vote in favor of this so I will not be approving this.”
Councillor Tom Zariski said, “I see a list of numerous problems with their plan that can’t be resolved.”
Council unanimously voted against second reading.
More than 50 residents showed up for a public hearing regarding a former golf course in Rosedale. Residents voiced their objections to the proposal to develop the land into a campground and park.