Norglenwold considering restricting use of a boat launch point

About 30 people turned out for a public hearing on the future of an informal boat launch.

An informal boat launch in Norglenwold might be closed to vehicles.

For many years, an undeveloped road allowance off the village’s Sylvan Lane Road has been used as a boat launch.

However, there have been complaints about parking and traffic, as well as questions about the environmental impact of using the spot, which is not well maintained, to launch boats.

About 30 residents gathered at the summer villages administration office in Sylvan Lake for a public hearing on a bylaw to put up barricades blocking vehicles from May 30 to Aug. 31. Barricades would be removed Sept. 1 to May 29, which would allow for ice fishers to drive on to the lake.

Summer villages chief administrative officer Phyllis Forsyth said about a dozen people spoke at the public hearing, evenly split between for and against.

The three-person village council did not make a decision on whether to limit access, tabling the bylaw to its April 28 meeting.

“It’s very contentious for the community,” said Forsyth on Friday. “Council wants to make sure they’re doing the best thing for the community.

“They’re taking their time to ponder everything that was said today.”

The launch is popular early in the season when people are putting their boats in the water for the season. It has also attracted overflow from Sylvan Lake on busy days.

“We have very limited parking so it does create some parking problems for us,” she said, adding the village office receives complaints every year.

There are also concerns about the possibility of invasive water species finding their way into the lake. At established boat launches, the province has posted signs about the dangers of zebra mussels and other invasive species, and have done spot checks.

One resident, who has lived in the village for more than 30 years, said he wrote a letter in opposition.

“I’m upset because it’s just one more access that’s closing,” said the man, who did not want to be identified.

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