Jarvis Bay proposal troubles Sylvan councillors

Sylvan Lake councillors are concerned about the environmental impact of a proposed development in the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay.

Canada geese feed on land slated for construction in the Twin Fawn Development near the outlet creek on Sylvan Lake’s east side Tuesday.

Canada geese feed on land slated for construction in the Twin Fawn Development near the outlet creek on Sylvan Lake’s east side Tuesday.

Sylvan Lake councillors are concerned about the environmental impact of a proposed development in the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson said the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay is looking to rezone property that was earmarked as long-term natural preservation land in order to create a 15-lot subdivision called Twin Fawn development.

“We are totally, 100 per cent against that. Not only are we against it because it is an erosion of important environmental habitat, it is also an expansion of the summer village in an area that was never meant to be,” Samson said.

However, Annabelle Wiseman, the mayor of the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay, said the area for development is currently zoned as urban reserve for future development. She said the Twin Fawn developers sold a 30-metre environmentally sensitive strip of land, near the Twin Fawn development, to the province. The province is now in control of the strip of land, which encompasses the creek and a leeway to either side of the creek.

Plans also include a 15-metre buffer along the lakeshore and 15-metre environment reserve easements on lakeshore properties to restrict development on that portion of each parcel.

A public hearing to discuss the rezoning proposal is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Fox Run Fine Arts Centre, at 2 Falcon Ridge in Sylvan Lake. The public hearing will look at rezoning the urban reserve land for future development to residential Twin Fawn, a special designation because the property doesn’t quite fit into the frontage required in the summer village’s municipal development plan and land use bylaws.

Wiseman said the summer village council needs to listen to what everybody has to say and try to please everybody, but that isn’t always possible.

“We haven’t made any decisions. We’re still at the listening stage,” Wiseman said.

“I think a lot of people think we’ve decided already, but I certainly haven’t. I’ll wait to hear what the residents have to say.”

Samson said Sylvan Lake councillors plan to attend the meeting to express their concerns about the development.

“I think that all of us here around the lake — whether you live on the lakeshore or around the lake — have a responsibility for stewardship of the lake. And we do not have the answers on what is the full capacity, what is the carrying capacity, what are the cumulative effects if we continue to allow and continue to entertain rezoning and development without knowing that,” Samson said.

The Summer Village of Jarvis Bay is the first summer village as you leave the Town of Sylvan Lake, up Hwy 20, to the north. There are 138 single family dwellings in the summer village and there are 183 year-round residents there, along with many summer residents.

The subdivision proposed by Twin Fawn has been in the works for a number of years. Before the project can go ahead, second and third reading of the rezoning bylaws would have to be approved during a regular council meeting of the summer village council and a development agreement would have to be written up and agreed upon by the council and the developer.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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