Multi-million dollar Marina project awaits town approval

Sylvan Lake town council got a new look at a project to build condominiums and upgrade the town’s marina on Monday.

Sylvan Lake town council got a new look at a project to build condominiums and upgrade the town’s marina on Monday.

The project to be built by Sylvan Lake Harbour Ltd. would see 55 condominiums built in four-storeys buildings just west of the water park. The latest plans call for 174 boat slips, plus another six temporary mooring slips and 136 parking spaces, most of them in an underground parkade. The boat ramp will be reconstructed and the marina will be improved to provide more room for today’s larger boats.

Developer Al Laplante said the value of the project will depend on the final configuration as approved by the town, but will be somewhere in the range of $18 million.

When construction can begin hinges on getting final development approval from the town. A development permit application was submitted last April and is still being reviewed by town planning staff, who are scrutinizing very carefully the project on one of the town’s most desirable pieces of lakefront property.

Laplante said four federal and provincial permits have already been approved.

Consultant Alvin Fritz presented the results of an environmental and traffic impact assessments that showed the project would not significantly add to traffic in the area. The project is expected to improve surface water quality and work will be undertaken at a nearby spit to better support native aquatic life, he said. To reduce water usage, low-flow showers and toilets will be used in the condos, which are located in a pair of four-storey buildings. It has been designed so each suite has a view of the lake.

Councillors directed a number of questions about how public access.

Coun. Dale Plante asked if the development would ever become a gated community, limiting local access.

Laplante said the town made it very clear from the beginning of the process that the marina and surrounding areas must be open to the public.

A 30-metre environmental easement with walking paths are part of the development, which will not be fenced off to the public.

Some councillors also expressed some concern that an above-ground parking lot between the two buildings would block views of the lake from passersby or nearby businesses on Lakeshore Drive because of the need to elevate the lot to make room for the underground parking below, which must be designed with the water table in mind.

The new designs are a departure from preliminary plans that proposed expanding the marina to 205 slips from 180 and would have included 156 parking stalls.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com