Lack of controls, removal of amenities affecting cottage area

As seasonal taxpayers we pay dearly to live in the area bordered by Lakeshore Drive and 50th Avenue.

Dear Editor,

As seasonal taxpayers we pay dearly to live in the area bordered by Lakeshore Drive and 50th Avenue. Our taxes contributed to the intended improvement project completed in the last few years. Do we benefit? Not much. Yes, we enjoy the walkway for evening strolls and daytime cycling. However, in the past we had a beach with native trees and bushes.

In the past the town placed rafts from each street for us to swim out to and utilize as take-off areas for water skiing. In addition, a perimeter designating a swimming area was marked by buoys indicating that they must slow down when entering these waters. Boats anchored near the beach had to be on boat hoists and well away from the shallow waters where children could swim and play.

Currently we have to scramble over sharp rocks or walk a block or two past the retaining wall to get to the lake. Presently we have to walk carefully past anchors left in the ground or find area beyond the flotilla of pontoon boats and larger power boats congesting the area. It is a dangerous area with crafts coming in very close to shore at top speed — one almost ran over me. It is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured by items left in the water or entering the beach area out of control.

We had two good washrooms. Now they are gone. We had several garbage units on the beach. They are gone. Visitors coming down to our area leave their garbage and utilize the lake as their washroom.

One feels that town council is ignoring us to discourage “cottagers” from continuing to utilize the area as a summer resort. Perhaps this subtle pressure will eliminate the seasonal resident from retaining their property and facilitate the building of duplexes and large homes resulting in a greater tax base.

Alberta Parks and other controlling organizations are deaf to our concerns. The marina from 34th Street to 40th Street that has developed due to no controls being applied has turned this area into a major eyesore and blatant misuse of a beautiful beach.

Sylvan Lake is no longer the “crown jewel” of Alberta lakes. I have loved Sylvan Lake since I first came here in 1947 and still do. However, I wonder if anybody else cares about maintaining the “cottage environment”. This aspect of the lake is very special.

Donna Enger,

Sylvan Lake