Sylvan gets set to expand bringing exciting possibilities for future

What a beautiful sight it is to see a thriving municipality’s borders grow.

What a beautiful sight it is to see a thriving municipality’s borders grow.

As the Town of Sylvan Lake released details of their land annexation this week, Lakers had the opportunity to watch this happen firsthand.

The municipal boundaries expanded the the west and north-east with land having been annexed from Red Deer County. These new parcels of land will come to play an integral roles in the Town’s growth as they allow for future commodity access and residential resources in key areas of Sylvan Lake.

The acquisition of nearly five quarters of land along the western border of the town will allow for a highly adaptable mix of residential and commercial zoning, granting access to residents in areas such as Fox Run and Lakeway Landing closer access to amenities.

Around four quarter sections were acquired to the north-east of Town along Highway 11A. This land will one day be home to a hopeful mix of light and heavy industrial. With easy access to Red Deer and Blackfalds through highway 11A the land was a smart grab by theTown.

Also in the annexation outlines are plans for an area known as Iron Gate. Although it may sound like a stronghold from the popular television show, Game of Thrones it is in actuality the quarter section of land across Highway 20 from Ryder’s Ridge. This area will likely be zoned residential with the potential for light commercial activity, similar to Ryder’s Ridge.

With Highway 20 granting main access to the town nestled nicely between Ryder’s Ridge and Iron Gate, the name itself seems fitting as the highway is truly the gateway to Sylvan Lake and this new quarter section will be the iron future of Sylvan’s residential growth.

Mayor Sean McIntyre stated in an interview he feels the goal of this council has been to create a complete community and in order to do so they needed the space.

“We need space to provide careers in the industrial sector and that is our vision for the north-east,” said McIntyre “We are a growing community that needs additional space for the homes of the people who may one day work in that sector and that occurs in both theIron Gate area as well as the area west of 60 St.”

“We also recognize we need services and commercial offerings such as grocery stores and gas stations on that end of town as well.”

The recently conducted Retail Gap Analysis highlighted a number of key retail opportunities that may thrive in the area. The partnership between the Town and the Chamber of Commerce combined with the work being done by the Business Recruitment Team to better understand the area west of 60 St. has been an admirable initiative, one which is sure to prove successful.

Mayor McIntyre added studies such as the Retail Gap Analysis show the community where opportunities in business are occurring as well as opportunities for outside businesses to invest in the area.

The Retail Gap Analysis also provided the town with many interesting notions to consider while revitalizing the downtown area,identifying such suggestions as increasing the number of mixed residential/commercial buildings to encourage people to live in the downtown area. It pushed for more year-round activities and encouraged the downtown area to become a hub for regional artists.

Imagine a sunny summer’s day walking down Lakeshore, a farmer’s market bustles in a nearby lot vendors sell their home made goods, buskers line the pathway next to the lake. Some are painting, others play lively tunes on a guitar. You and your friends walk from your downtown apartment complex the block and a half to a local craft brewer’s outdoor patio to enjoy local sourced food alongside your pint of tasty ale.

It is exciting to see a community blossom and flourish. Just as we’ve watched the municipality borders grow so to are we sure to see these new areas come to a full fruition. These new areas along with the existing vibrant downtown core will set up Sylvan Lake for an exciting, prosperous future and a carefully created complete community.