Lack of business owner involvement in redevelopment planning questioned

During their regular meeting Mar. 25, Sylvan Lake councillors:

During their regular meeting Mar. 25, Sylvan Lake councillors:

• discussed a recent focus session on the 50th Street Design Development and Area G Master Plan projects.

While the CAO’s report stated turnout was limited (13), Councillor Laverne Asselstine said when councillors and town staff were excluded there were only a couple of people.

“What are we trying to move an agenda forward if nobody gives a damn?” he questioned. “Why don’t we back away until the property owners get involved?”

Councillor Dale Plante stated the players have changed a lot in the downtown area. “They don’t think anything will happen, they’ve given up on the process because there have been plans before. I don’t think they believe us.”

“Rather than abandon it we should sincerely consider how we approach it,” said Councillor Sean McIntyre. “Have the next meeting in the redevelopment area. There’s a disconnect between us and a lot of members in that business community. There are steps we need to take to engage them. Re-evaluate the approach before we give up.”

• watched the presentation of the first certificates to people who have participated in the town’s new Green Certification program. Honoured were Dan Gagne of Westerra Insulation Inc., Randy Fiedler, Jeff Simser and Marilee Littmann. A certificate was also prepared for Phyllis Arseniuk who wasn’t present.

• heard a complaint from Michael Lund who was opposed to trees being removed behind (south of) the Ryders Ridge subdivision.

Tim Schmidt, the town’s director of planning and development responded the municipality hadn’t received an application from the owner (Melcor) and stopped further tree removal. They will assess what trees came out and also the potential that tree cutting encroached onto town owned land. He added there are plans for a stormwater pond in the area.

• heard a proposal from McIntyre to be more proactive in encouraging sidewalk clearing next winter “for the sake of walkability and mobility”.

He requested they revisit the current approach for complaint based enforcement and moved towards a proactive based compliance.

Plante added the town also needs to review its own sidewalk clearing. The sidewalk around the old hotel site, which is the town’s responsibility, wasn’t adequately cleaned, he said.

Asselstine agreed. “I walk every day and there are a lot of deficiencies that go on for weeks and weeks. We have to change our approach.”