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Meadowview residents rail at proposed rezoning for RV park

Would bring traffic and drive away birds, they allege
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GO-CARTS AND GOLF? — Sturgeon County council held a public hearing April 12, 2022, on a motion to rezone the 28-acre plot outlined in red here to recreational from agricultural. The zoning request was made by the owners of the Meadowview Golf & Country Club, who hope to build a driving range, go-cart track, and other amenities on this land. GOOGLE MAPS/Screenshot

Meadowview Drive residents spoke out this week against a proposal that could see go-carts and an RV park built across the road from a local golf course.

Sturgeon County council held a public hearing April 12 on a proposal to rezone about 28 acres of land north of the Meadowview Golf and Country Club to recreational from agriculture.

Council heard March 8 that a developer hopes to place a driving range on this land to supplement the golf course, with a concept plan suggesting that go-carts, mini-golf, batting cages, a building, and up to 60 recreational vehicles could come in the future. The developer has completed a traffic impact assessment of the proposed rezoning which is now being reviewed by county administration.

A substantial number of area residents spoke out against the rezoning at the April 12 public hearing, with 72 people signing a letter to council outlining their objections.

About 32 residents had rallied at St. Albert’s Grain Elevator Park April 7 to organize opposition to the rezoning.

Resident Rob Petz said many area residents were caught off guard by this proposal, as all they had heard about was a potential driving range.

“We live in a beautiful area with lots of wildlife,” he said at the rally, and these lands are host to many moose, deer, and migratory birds.

“We’re going to lose all that,” he said, adding that he is concerned with how development here will affect nearby Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park.

Resident Brian Tebbs said locals have already endured years of substandard road conditions on Meadowview Drive (which runs between the golf course and the subject plot) and have seen significant spikes in traffic volumes following the expansion of Ray Gibbon Drive. This rezoning could create safety hazards from long lines of vehicles turning into the proposed RV park and drunken golfers driving golf carts along Meadowview.

Greg Fried, who lives next to the subject lands, said the noise from the proposed batting cages would likely be audible a long way away.

“Their golf balls are going to be coming over our fence while we’re gardening and hitting us on the head,” he predicted.

In an email to council, resident Jeffrey Jarvis said he and his wife moved to Reyda Vista to get away from noise and traffic.

“The proposed RV park and go-carts will put a damper on this as the constant humming of go-carts and camping parties will fill the air. It is one thing when your neighbour has a party [one] evening in the summer, but when it is constant throughout the entire season then it will become quite a nuisance.”

Council considerations

Speakers at the public hearing raised concerns about traffic, sewage, trespassing, noise from squealing tires and late-night parties, trash blowing off site, and environmental impacts on Big Lake.

Tony Druett of the Big Lake Environment Support Society said the RV park, go-carts, and large building proposed for these lands would be “potentially very prejudicial” for the development of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park and interfere with scenic views along Meadowview Drive.

Morinville lawyer Gordon Putnam, speaking on behalf of the developer, said this region is already flanked by recreational lands (the golf course and the Pioneer Gun Club to the south) and disputed the development’s noise impacts.

“Golfing is not by its nature a noisy activity,” he said.

“Bringing people together to recreate, I’m not sure what’s offensive about that.”

Putnam said his clients had not yet committed to building the batting cages, RV park, or go-cart course, and committed to using electric go-carts which he said would be quieter than conventional ones. He also noted that many other area golf courses have driving ranges, and that some have RV parks.

Putnam said developers would not have golf carts cross Meadowview Drive, and could put berms or trees up to control noise. They have not studied this development’s potential environmental impacts or light pollution.

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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