More parking added to Sylvan boat launch

Public demand has promoted developers to add more parking at a boat launch site that is part of a proposed 59-lot housing development on Sylvan Lake.

Public demand has promoted developers to add more parking at a boat launch site that is part of a proposed 59-lot housing development on Sylvan Lake.

Among the issues raised at a public open house last month on the Palm Cove project, just north of Sunbreaker Cove at the northeast end of the lake, was the lack of space for trucks and trailers at a proposed boat launch. That has now been improved, Lacombe County council was told Thursday during a presentation prior to a vote on first reading of a rezoning bylaw for the project by developer Qualico Communities.

Councillor Rod McDermand sought assurances — which he was given by the developer — that the boat launch could be used by the general public.

Council unanimously approved first reading of a bylaw to rezone 156 acres from agricultural land to residential conservation cluster district. A public hearing has been set for Nov. 25.

Qualico is proposing to build 59 single-family homes clustered into four groups with an average lot size of half an acre. A large portion of the site will be left as natural area with trees and open spaces.

There will also be trails and the remains of the historic Palm homestead, built in the early 1900s, and other buildings will be protected. A 50-metre buffer will also be in places around the grave sites for three infants who died while the site was occupied from 1905 to 1938. A native cairn featuring piled stones and projectile points dating to pre-European contact will be protected with a 10-metre buffer.

A 30-metre environmental reserve has also been set aside along the shore to protect the lake. Other reserves have been set aside to protect wetlands, woodlands and wildlife corridors.

Brad Armstrong, land development manager for Qualico, said detailed design work will likely begin after Christmas and third reading could happen around the same time.

“If we’re successful doing that, we would likely want to start construction in the summer of 2011.

“It’s possible it could be staged. It all depends on what market conditions are out there, what level of interest there is from the public, how much time it takes us to actually build it, what the cost of it is.”

The company has already fielded calls from people wanting to know when lots will be ready. “There does seem to be a certain amount of interest out there.”

Future stages could add close to another 100 homes. “We really haven’t got to that level of detail. Our focus is on stage one right now.”

Under the county’s proposed Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan, a regional sewage line would need to be in place for future development phases.

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