Perhaps the most impressed with the bright colours

Family atmosphere of 1913 Days street festival appreciated

The addition of a street festival to Saturday’s 1913 Days celebration is being hailed as one of the best ideas in the recent past.

The addition of a street festival to Saturday’s 1913 Days celebration is being hailed as one of the best ideas in the recent past.

Performers of different types kept people fascinated along Lakeshore Drive. There were bouncy inflatables for youngsters to explore in Centennial Park. The pier included a performance area where House of Music students showcased their talents. So much to keep families active and interested.

From the parents who attended with their children to the business owners we talked to along Lakeshore Drive, there was resounding support for more of the same. More Sylvan residents were downtown, we heard. It wasn’t just tourists.

Some people went so far as to say Lakeshore Drive should be closed to traffic at least one day every weekend so people can stroll, buskers and performers can ‘strut their stuff’ and families can enjoy the area.

Bravo to town staff who were involved in enhancing our annual celebration of Sylvan Lake’s history. We look forward to the next imaginative use of our waterfront and Lakeshore Drive areas.

Secondary suites a hot topic

About a year ago a hot topic around the council table was whether or not to continue to allow garage suites in Sylvan’s residential areas.

Over a period of months, the issued was debated and finally in October a bylaw was passed which added new regulations to “further restrict the lots that suites can be built on to minimize the impact on adjacent landowners”.

A staff report at the time noted garage suites are discretionary uses. “Each application should be evaluated based on their situation, comments received, and sound planning concerns which may be raised as part of the decision process.”

Fast forward and now the issue is secondary or basement suites – very similar but different.

And reaction from adjacent landowners in developed areas is becoming as contentious as when a couple garage suites were built in Ryders Ridge.

In other areas, the secondary suites are being developed as part of new home construction where there are no neighbours to object except other home builders.

In those areas where in-fill construction is planned, particularly in the cottage area, a concern that’s been raised is that the development of a secondary suite, in essence, means a single family home becomes an up-down duplex.

Councillors will listen to the views of residents and citizens at their meeting Monday night during a public hearing on a bylaw dealing with the secondary suite development approval process.

We strongly suspect the discussion will spill over into a debate on whether secondary suites should be allowed carte blanche throughout town or whether they should be restricted to certain lots or areas. We hope to hear some imaginative ideas on how to do this.

Once Monday’s hearing is over, we encourage councillors to strongly consider further investigation on the whole issue and enhanced regulations.


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