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Sylvan Lake council turns down proposed seniors complex

The 57-unit adult care residence was proposed for site near 44th Street and 50A Ave.
Rendering of proposed 57-unit assisted living residence in Sylvan Lake that was turned by town council on Monday.

Parking issues sank a proposed Sylvan Lake seniors complex.

On Monday, council voted 4-2 against the five-storey adult care residence proposed for 44th Street and 50A Avenue in the town.

Avalon at Sylvan Lake was to include up to 57 apartments with food services, recreation and housekeeping as well as transportation.

Under Sylvan Lake’s bylaws, 17 parking spaces are required. Avalon was to include 25.

The town’s municipal planning commission had earlier expressed concern with the height of the building, which exceeded the three-storey maximum allowed in the area.

However, that did not prove to be council’s main concern.

“The big concern wasn’t necessarily the height of the building but it was perceived to have insufficient parking,” said Sylvan Lake communications officer Joanne Gaudet.

Parking has been a recurring concern of council’s on other developments that have come before it in recent years, she said.

It is likely town planning staff will be asked to review parking requirements in the bylaw considering council’s stance.

Under the town’s rules, a developer can bring back a project that has been turned down in six months.

Terry Collier, of EFG Architects, said their plan exceeded parking requirements and was disappointed with council’s decision.

Collier believes the number of places would have been more than adequate for the type of seniors complex approved where the average age of residents is typically in the 80s.

“It’s unfortunate that the council didn’t want the facility to go forward,” he said.

He was hoping to meet with the town this week to further discuss the project.

The building would have fulfilled a need in Sylvan Lake, where the options for seniors living are in short supply, he said.

Collier’s firm is also involved in an assisted living project in Red Deer that had to meet the same bylaw parking requirements as in Sylvan Lake.

However, the outcome was different. That six-storey, 79-unit complex to be built near Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre was passed by the city’s municipal planning commission on Wednesday.