Consultant to assess Sylvan Lake’s planning process

Town of Sylvan Lake is taking a hard look at its planning system to find ways to foster more commercial and industrial growth.

Town of Sylvan Lake is taking a hard look at its planning system to find ways to foster more commercial and industrial growth.

“We’ve had over the years frustrations expressed by the business community that they were receiving delays and having trouble basically developing in the town,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre.

A planning consultant has been brought in to assess the town’s planning processes to ensure it’s as efficient and effective as possible.

Winnipeg consultants McKay Finnigan and Associates will be in town on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet with local representatives. Local developers, landowners and others with a stake in development issues have been invited to a Wednesday morning meeting to provide input.

Council also plans to take another look at its Waterfront Redevelopment Area, which was established several years ago. Adopted along with it was a pattern book that outlines a consistent Cape Cod-like theme and height restrictions for new developments.

However, some developers have complained that the pattern book is too restrictive and has scared away development.

“That pattern books is definitely under review,” said McIntyre.

“There is nothing wrong with architectural guidelines when it comes to development. But certainly the pattern book is going to be scrutinized to make sure it is not holding back quality developments.”

To further spur development, council voted in its last budget to hold the line on non-residential taxes.

As well, the town is exploring suitable annexation targets to provide land for future residential and non-industrial growth.

“Council has essentially initiated a full review of our planning processes,” said McIntyre.

“We are really looking for ways that we can work with the business community to make sure our town is growing in a healthy way.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com