The Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan includes the need to enhance the beach and protect the shoreline of Sylvan Lake. File Photo

Sylvan Lake Council grants first reading to waterfront redevelopment plan

ReImagine Sylvan gathered resident feedback develop a plan to redevelop the waterfront area

Sylvan Lake Town Council has given first reading to the Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan bylaw which was created with feedback from ReImagine Sylvan.

The SWARP Project, which publicly began during Winterfest in 2017 under the name ReImagine Sylvan, has the goal of making the lakefront area of Sylvan Lake the “vibrant heart” of town by 2038.

SWARP also plans to include “year-round attractions and amenities for both residents and visitors.”

After extensive residential feedback, which included workshops, surveys and an open house, Town staff have come up with a plan to redevelop the lakefront over the next 20 years.

READ MORE: ReImagine Sylvan draft approaching finalization

Waterfront redevelopment plan receives boost from federal government

“The plan is built using community consultation… and all of those comments and ideas have influenced how this plan has been decided,” said Kim Devlin, senior planner with the Town.

The area that is part of the redevelopment plan stretches from 60 Street along the gold course all the way down Lakeshore Drive down to 33 Street by the round-about.

The 20-year plan wants to make the lakefront a “hub of cultural activities” according to Devlin.

Devlin says the plan includes an environmental protection component as well as opportunities for new development.

Devlin says the new SWARP plan will build on the work that has already been done in the area with “a bit of change.”

For instance, houses in the cottage district will still be restricted to two-story structures for single family homes. Moving toward to golf course and away from the cottage district, higher density living will be allowed in the form of three and up to six-story developments.

Devlin continued to say economic development and tourism is a key issue for the new plan.

“[It] highlights the need to expand around tourism, increasing our festivals, events and activities that are happening in the area, and insure we are attracting a good mix of businesses and services for residents and visitors,” said Devlin.

Barrier-free public access to the waterfront area, is one important factor the plan hopes to implant in regards to parks and open spaces.

Along with barrier-free access, SWARP will also preserve views to the lake, increase trails and expand recreational use for year-round enjoyment.

Devlin also says SWARP includes the importance of enchanting the beach and protecting the shoreline.

Devlin says the need for a new updated plan for the waterfront is due to a change in the economy over recent years as well as new purchases by the Town, such as the old water slide park land and the old provincial park.

“All the green space along the water now belongs to the Town and needs some planning work,” she said.

Town Council approved the first reading to the bylaw and will hold a public hearing on the bylaw on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

The full plan for the Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan can be found online at www.sylvanlake.ca

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