Is there dog access to the lake? The question has been raised on numerous occasions and Town Council is in the process of answering.
As of publishing, four-legged friends are not allowed on the beach in Sylvan Lake. However, Council has been looking at changing that after repeated questions and requests.
On March 14, the Town held an open house to hear the opinions of Sylvan Lake residents on the issue, and to detail potential plans for a dog access location.
The Town presented three possibilities to residents, adding to each person filling out a response that they could suggest changes or alternative locations.
The first concept is the largest and is located along Lakeshore Drive, from 39 Street, and midway to 38 Street.
Concept two is in the same location, but half the size.
The third concept presented at the open house is located in the bay area between Light House Park and Lakeshore Park and is the smallest of the three.
According to Lee Furlotte, parks manager, the locations were chosen by council out of a potential five, and each has it’s own pro and con list.
“There are a lot of factors to consider with both locations, such as parking,” said Furlotte, adding the first two concepts are further away from parking with the closest parking lot often very busy.
The proposed areas are for an off-leash water access point for dogs. The plans include a fence around the proposed area.
Just because the proposed plan is for an off-leash area, Furlotte says it doesn’t have to be that way.
“An off-leash area would mean the area is kept apart from the other parts of the park, picnicking families won’t be disturbed and dogs won’t come across stray chicken bones. But, there is the option for the area to be on-leash,” said Furlotte.
The fencing, if an on-leash park is chosen, will go a bit into the water and buoys will be set up to let other users know of the area and to keep an eye open.
Furlotte says any fencing put up will go around any vegetation present in the area.
As well, with the first two concepts, trails will be added and maintained so there were multiple entrances to the park.
He says if an on-leash park is chosen around 39 Street, some work will have to be done to create additional trails around and exiting the park.
When it comes to cleaning up after the pets, Furlotte has faith residents and visitors will, whether the park is off or on-leash.
“Just like with the dog park, people are, generally, really good and considerate about that sort of thing.”
Residents have the chance to have their say in a potential water access location for dogs online in a survey. The survey can be taken at sylvanlake.ca/townprojects until March 29.
The results are expected to come back to Town Council by the end of April.