St. Albert mayor looks to curb parking lot RV camping

A camping crackdown is underway in St. Albert that hopes to reduce the number of recreational vehicles setting up shop in city parking lots.

For years Walmart stores across the country, including the one in St. Albert, have encouraged RV owners to stay overnight in their parking lots.

But St. Albert mayor Nolan Crouse is less receptive, saying that some people are taking advantage of that hospitality.

"In some cases there’s a lot of garbage laying around and even outdoor camp facilities – barbeques and whatnot," Crouse said.

Crouse says he is more concerned about those who set up for extended stays than he is with overnighters. He wants council to review city bylaws to deal with issue now before it becomes a bigger problem.

"It’s really intended to make sure we have the right permitting system in place," Crouse said. "Should there be a limit in terms of the overnight stay requirements? Should it be a 24-hour stay? Those kinds of things."

Even some RV owners agree that limits are needed.

"I think it would be a good idea to ban long term parking," said Ken Warren, manager of the nearby Kinsmen RV Park. "I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that no one should be able to stop there for just overnight."

Crouse says the city will hold public consultations on the issue before it goes back in front of city council next February.

With files from Vinesh Pratap.

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