Lakeside housing proposal moved to next phase

A proposed 59-lot housing development on Sylvan Lake will be designed to preserve wildlife corridors and sensitive fisheries, Lacombe County council heard on Thursday.

A proposed 59-lot housing development on Sylvan Lake will be designed to preserve wildlife corridors and sensitive fisheries, Lacombe County council heard on Thursday.

Qualico Developments wants to build single-family homes on a 92-acre lakeside site near the Summer Village of Sunbreaker Cove on the northeast side of the lake.

Council approved second reading for the project and the developers will now work with county staff on a development agreement and final concept plan before it comes back for final reading sometime next year.

County assistant planner and development officer Amanda-Brea Watson said there were a number of concerns raised at a Nov. 25 public hearing on the development. Some suggested the county was not taking into account the cumulative impact of lake developments when approving residential proposals.

Watson said under the county’s recently passed Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan, a review period will follow after 2,000 new lots have been approved. About 800 lots have been approved or are in various stages of development.

Concerns were also raised about the impact of the housing on key habitats for animals such as deer.

Half of the site will be left in its natural state where possible and known wildlife routes will be preserved.

Sections of the shoreline have also been identified as sensitive fisheries and a proposed boat launch will be built elsewhere.

The availability of water was also raised during the public hearing. That is not expected to be a problem, based on groundwater evaluations, which show there is enough water to supply 794 lots, said Watson.

“We have fairly certain assurances there will be adequate water there without impacting the existing users,” she said.

Councillor Doug Sproule questioned whether cumulative impacts could be addressed by only looking at recent developments and not all of the housing already in place around the lake.

Watson said coming to any consensus with municipalities around the lake on the cumulative effect of development has proven difficult.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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