Sylvan Lake and seven other municipalities have completed phase one of a intermunicipal development plan, with the help of locals.
The Town of Sylvan Lake has partnered with Lacombe County, Red Deer County, the Summer Villages of Birchcliff, Half Moon Bay, Norglenwold and Sunbreaker Cove to create this plan.
The Sylvan Lake IDP will have an impact on some decision making in each town and county over the next 20 years.
The first phase of this plan is community engagement.
In the first phase of planning, the committee sought to understand what issues and potential opportunities exist within the Sylvan Lake Area. This was done through community engagement, stakeholder discussions and reviews of background studies and reports from all municipalities involved.
In December, Sylvan Lake and the other municipalities held an open house at the NexSource Centre to discuss the IDP and take in ideas and concerns from residents in the area.
Following the open house, an online survey was held as well as online interactive mapping and meetings with stakeholder groups.
From these engagement opportunities, the IDP Committee found key focus areas including:
• Protecting the environment and watershed
• Developing trails and outdoor recreation opportunities
• Improving the ways that people can access the lake
• Maintaining the character of the various communities in the area
From here the committee will now begin to draft a plan and policy framework. The committee says the IDP framework will help to bring “coordinated growth and development between the partnering municipalities.”
When writing the frame work, the IDP Committee will consider future land uses, environmental considerations, transportation and infrastructure, economic development and agriculture land use viability.
The full report on the engagement session findings, titled “What We Heard Report”, can be found at www.sylvanlakeidp.ca.
More engagement sessions regarding the IDP are expected later in 2019.