Marina condo plan faces test

A contentious plan to build condominiums next to a redesigned marina in Sylvan Lake will face a crucial test before town council next month.

A contentious plan to build condominiums next to a redesigned marina in Sylvan Lake will face a crucial test before town council next month.

Municipal politicians are expected to decide whether to approve a development permit for the project to build 55 condominiums in a pair of four-storey buildings next to the marina on Lakeshore Drive. Council was expected to make a decision at its April 23 meeting, but postponed a ruling because a councillor was absent who wanted to vote.

Council was also reluctant to risk a tied vote, which automatically defeats a motion.

The roughly $18-million project is not without its opponents.

A number of neighbours in nearby buildings are opposed to having their view blocked.

Town councillors have also expressed reservations with the numbers of public parking spaces provided by developer Sylvan Lake Harbour Ltd.

At a meeting in early April, some councillors took issue with a request for a 66-stall relaxation in parking stalls and planning staff were asked to review the issue with the developer. There are 180 stalls at the site now and the developer is proposing 136.

Parking numbers are little changed in the proposal that will go before council for approval on May 14.

Planning staff recommend council approve the project on a number of conditions including that the developer provide cash in lieu for 39 stalls at $5,500 per stall, or $214,500, and a relaxation for 59 stalls be granted.

“The parking situation hasn’t changed,” said Mayor Susan Samson, who has spoken favourably of the development. “So the decision will be made on the facts that we have now.”

The developer has agreed to continue to allow public access to the privately owned marina and the site, which will feature walking trails and access to a local lighthouse.

If approved, the project would be built in two phases.

The marina development and 40 condominiums, plus 94 underground parking stalls and 42 surface stalls, would be built first. The second phase would include commercial spaces and 15 condominiums.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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