Concept Three is the same as Concept One with the addition of an off-leash dog park. With each of these concepts the Town has also presented the idea of bringing in more sand for a beach area, saying it is one of the biggest requests they hear. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Town of Sylvan Lake looking at lake usage in new survey

The Town is in talks to contract part of the lake, but has to have a plan for water usage first

The Town of Sylvan Lake is looking to contract water rights from the Province for the lakefront area.

Before a contract can be made, the Town has to develop a strategy for water usage.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre says right now the Town is developing a strategy using resident feedback.

“Where ReIMAGINE Sylvan was a great process, this is a little different. We were looking at land usage there and now we are looking at water usage,” he said.

When the Town gained control of the former provincial park early in 2018, the rights to the Town stopped at the water’s edge. This means the Town of Sylvan Lake does not currently have any say in activities in the lake.

During the ReIMAGINE Sylvan process, preliminary drawings showed multiple activities, such as a dock extending from the pier. However, none of the items shown in the ReIMAGINE Sylvan drawings can be done without a contract with the Province.

At the open house on Aug. 15, residents were shown three concept designs for future water usage. Residents were asked to give their feedback on a survey, which can also be done online until Aug. 30.

The three concepts are similar to one another, sharing much of the same activities in different spaces along the lakeshore.

According to the Town, the three concepts differ where items like a motorized boating area or a dog park is located.

Concept One focuses on providing more boating facilities, reconfiguring the western edge of the lakeshore to provide a specified area for motorized boating.

Joanne Gaudet, communications officer with the Town, says obtaining a contract for water usage from the Province will give Sylvan Lake the ability to better control how activity in the area will be defined and sectioned.

“I hate to use the term regulate… but it will give us more control over things like dog access to the water or boat mooring,” she said.

Two of the concepts show a dog park on the lake both being a fenced-in, off-leash site.

Where Concept One prioritizes boating use, Concept Two puts the priority on public, non-motorized access. That means activities such as swimming and paddle boarding will have the greater presence in this concept.

Concept Three is nearly identical to Concept One, with the addition of an off-leash park for dogs to have access to the water.

“We have heard a lot of great feed back so far, and I look forward to hearing the report that comes from all of this,” said McIntyre who said the surveys and feedback will be compiled into a report and presented to council this fall.

The survey asks residents what activities they like to do on the lake. The answers provided will help to “identify and refine a preferred concept for the lakefront.”

Surveys can be done online at until Aug. 30. The survey can be found on the Town’s website, under Town’s projects.

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