April 19, 2023 | 6:00PM | Stettler Community Hall – 5101 46 Ave, Stettler, AB


Bar W Resort is located on the south side Buffalo Lake in the County of Stettler on section NE, 20-40-20-W4M. Adjacent to Range Road 204 and north of Bay View Street. The site is approximately 33.75 ha (83.4 ac) and is currently zoned Recreation Facility (RF) District. The development proposes 318 seasonal recreation vehicle (RV) stalls that would be used from May to October. Phase 1 accounts for 15.15 ha (37.43 ac). We acknowledge that there has been a long history on this site. The project is now under new direction. The developer is working with a new consulting team to alleviate previous concerns with the development and move the project forward. Public engagement is an important part of this process. The new development plans will be shared at the upcoming open house in early April to provide information on the current development plans and attain input. Further details on the open house location and date will be posted on this website when available.

aerial rendering of Bar W Resort and Buffalo Lake


Appeal(s) of Previous Development Plans 2019
Open HouseApril 19, 2023
Development Permit Review, Circulation and Approval Spring / Summer 2023

Project History

The team acknowledges that this project does not represent the first development proposal for the subject site. The previous proposal experienced numerous challenges for both the County of Stettler and the communities surrounding the subject site, including 2019 Subdivision & Development Appeal Board (SDAB) and Court of Appeal of Alberta rulings. Since the cessation of the Paradise Shores development, the project was taken over by a new consulting team and revised to address previous concerns, thus, the Bar W Resort project was created. Further information related to some of the previous concerns can be found in the FAQ section.

Governing Policy

The Bar W Resort is governed by the following Statutory documents:

Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan

Buffalo Lake is an important amenity for the region providing year-round recreational opportunities. The purpose of the IDP is to provide a policy framework for managing the development and use of lands adjacent Buffalo Lake. The IDP provides principles and policies that govern future development which fall into the following categories.

  • Shoreline Coordination
  • Natural Character
  • Public Lake Access
  • Environment
  • Municipal Cooperation and Coordination
  • Communication

map of Buffalo Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan

The Bar W Resort is located within a "Growth Node". Growth nodes are to be developed for uses related to the lake and would include: multi-lot residential uses, resort and recreational developments, and related commercial activities. Growth Nodes are characterized by having more intensive development, with higher population densities and higher levels/requirements for municipal servicing. The majority of population and development activity in the plan area occur within the identified growth nodes.


An overall average density of approximately 0.9 development units per gross acre for each Growth Node must be required and identified through the preparation of a growth node plan.

Overall development capacity for the growth nodes within the plan area is set at a maximum of 7,330 total units including existing and future residential and recreational developments. Any form of development unit within the growth nodes must be counted against the maximum development capacity. Development capacity must not be exchanged between growth nodes.

Capacity Allocation

County of Stettler No.6 2,969
Summer Village of Rochon Sands 330
Summer Village of White Sands 505
South Shore 3,804

There are 3,798 acres in the South Shore Growth Node. This includes the lands in the Summer Village of Rochon Sands, which in turn includes the Provincial Park, and the lands in the Summer Village of White Sands. Approximately 3,031 acres of the South Shore area are located within the County of Stettler.

County of Stettler Municipal Development Plan

The MDP provides a policy framework for the long-term growth and development of Stettler County over 30-years. The MDP is a guiding document for Council, the Subdivision Authority, the Development Authority, County Administration, residents, and developers when considering land use redesignation, subdivision, development, and long-term planning decisions.

MDP Residential Development Goal: Support appropriately located rural and resort residential development to provide opportunities to increase the population base and provide a variety of housing opportunities that meet the needs of residents of various age groups, family types, lifestyles, and income levels.

South Shore Area Structure Plan

The South Shore Area Structure Plan provides a comprehensive planning framework for land uses, major roads, and utilities. The policies of the plan guide land use designation, subdivision and development permit decisions.

The South Shore Area Structure Plan puts in place a policy framework that rations the amount of development that may occur. This is based on the potential impacts on the environmental integrity of Buffalo Lake and the lake user experiences that Buffalo Lake offers. The ASP aligns with the IDP to limit the number of "development units" that may be allowed within the County's portion of the South Shore Growth Node.

There is a discrepancy between the number of development units allowed under Policy 3.1.6(a) of the Buffalo Lake IDP and the application of the overall average density identified in Policy 3.1.5 of the Buffalo Lake IDP. The total number of development units allowed in the County of Stettler portion of the South Shore Growth Node based on the 0.9 units per gross acre density of Policy 3.1.5 works out to be 2,728 (3,031 acres x 0.9 development units per acre = 2,728). Furthermore, there was an area discrepancy between the IDP and ASP growth area.

For the purposes of South Shore ASP, a determination was needed on which of the above figures, 2,969 or 2,728, is closest to the intent of the Buffalo Lake IDP. The lower figure of 2,728 was selected to ensure consistency with the more rigid interpretation of the Buffalo Lake IDP policies.

The total number of development units existing in the County of Stettler portion of the South Shore Growth Node as of September 2, 2020, is 904. In addition to the 904 existing development units, there are planning approvals that have not yet been acted upon. The most significant is the approved concept for the Ol' MacDonald's Resort which allows for the addition of 400 development units. This means there are 1,424 development units (2,728 minus 1,304 = 1,424) remaining to be allocated for future development in the area.

The County of Stettler Land Use Bylaw makes it possible to add "development units" to existing parcels over time. To account for future additions of "development units" on existing and future parcels, a portion of the remaining 1,424 development units yet to be allocated has been set aside as a "future hold back". This adjustment leaves 1,241 development units be allocated within the County portion of the South Shore Growth Node under this Plan.

map of South Shore Area Structure Plan

The ASP also has three density "Allocation Areas" (A,B,C) as identified on Map C. Within Allocation Areas A, B, and C, the available development units are intended to be further allocated on a "first proposed, first approved" basis. The total number of development units allocated to this area is 875 (12 existing + 783 new + 10% future hold back).

The Bar W Resort site falls within density allocation area C. Phase 1 of the development proposes 318 units. Future phases on the Bar W Resort site will depend on other developments within this Density Allocation Area, and the density allocation remaining at the time that future phases are proposed.

map of South Shore Area Structure Plan Map C

County of Stettler Land Use Bylaw No. 1443-10

Land Use Map

The existing land use for the Bar W Resort site is Recreation Facility (RF) District. This district provides for a range of recreational activities and developments which are compatible with the natural environment and surrounding land use. Recreational Vehicle Park and/or Campground, is a discretionary use and therefore requires a development permit.

Next page: Proposed Development