Plan for future waterfront improvements approved by Sylvan Lake Council

Town Council approved the Lakefront Usage Strategy as presented at Monday night’s meeting

After months of resident input and engagement, a plan for future usage of the lakefront area was accepted by Town Council.

The Calgary-based company ground cubed planning has been working with the Town to develop a plan for the development and usage of the lakeshore area.

The area covered as the lakefront stretches from, but not including, the marina down to 33 Street and a ways out into the lake.

Using the feedback collected through engagement sessions over the last year or so, it was found residents would like to see less congestion around the marina, a mooring field, a public dock for motorized boats, more sand along the beach and more public washrooms.

The Lakefront Usage Strategy recommends breaking up the improvements to the lakeshore into short, medium and long term goals and phases.

The first goal suggested in the plan in a one to two year term and includes five improvements for the area.

The improvements for the short term include: added barrier-free lake access points, new buoys and signage – including the designation of a commercial-based water zone, new non-motorized boat launch, new mooring field and new swim line and signage in the bay between the pier and Lakefront Park.

The second increment of improvements is projected to take three to five years to complete, according to the report provided to Council, March 9.

There are five improvements in the “medium term” increment. These improvements include: re-programming Lakefront Park, expanding the water play feature (Aqua Splash), adding new public dock and short term mooring, adding a formalized public boat pickup and drop off as well as the addition of a new public dock for mooring field access.

“A set of interim measures will be necessary in advance of the construction of the new public dock in the vicinity of the Water Play Feature. This section includes information regarding the location and nature of future improvements, as well as their anticipated high-level cost, time frame to implement, and regulatory approval requirements,” the report to Council states.

The final phase of improvements is for the long term jobs, which are those that will take six or more years to complete.

These seven long term improvements include improving access to water, a future mixed use development, improve existing sand beach, create new sand beach above retaining wall, re-program Sylvan Lake Park, add a new public dock and add a new washroom facility.

“Although these sand areas will not have a direct interface with the water, they will still allow for visitors to lounge on and play in the sand. If sand were proposed along the water, environmental approval would be required.”

The next step with the plan is to submit it to the province for approval. The Province requires the Town provide a plan for the planned future use of waterfront area.

Because provincial approval is still needed, the Lakefront Usage Strategy does not include the cost to complete the improvements.

Ron Lebsack, director of Parks and Protective Services with the Town, says after approval has been given by the Province, projects will be brought before Council with associated costs for approval.

“In the 2020 Budget, $250,000 was set aside for the Lakefront Usage Strategy. Once we have approval from the Province we can begin the improvements, but we will come to Council with costs first,” Lebsack said.

Town Council approved the plan at the March 9 regular meeting of Council.

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