Palm Cove given go-ahead

A controversial development on Sylvan Lake has been given the go-ahead by Lacombe County, although a proposed boat launch has been sent back to the drawing board.

A controversial development on Sylvan Lake has been given the go-ahead by Lacombe County, although a proposed boat launch has been sent back to the drawing board.

Reeve Ken Wigmore said council felt there was not enough public consultation on the plan to build a boat launch at the end of a county range road next to the 59-lot Palm Cove project north of the Summer Village of Sunbreaker Cove. The developers have been asked to hold a public open house to discuss the future of the launch, which the county wants to see built to take pressure off existing boat ramps.

Wigmore said the county also wants to see the developers do more consulting with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“It has not been solved out,” said Wigmore.

Residents on the nearby Palm Bay Road have voiced their opposition to locating the launch nearby, complaining it will create noise and traffic problems and could damage the lake environment.

The boat launch remains the only outstanding issue. Last week, council approved the concept plan, a development agreement and rezoning of 95 acres for the development.

The boat launch was originally slated for a different part of the Palm Cove development. But concerns about its impact on the lake prompted the developers to move it to a nearby range road, which already serves as an informal boat launch for area residents.

Wigmore said if there is enough opposition to the proposed location, the county may consider allowing a boat launch to be built somewhere else on the lake. The developers would be expected to contribute financially.

“We will not let them off the hook. They will either supply us with a boat launch there or funds to help us find one someplace else.”

The lack of lake access has been a growing concern among area residents, who have complained that existing boat launches are overcrowded. To ease the pressure on existing facilities, the county requires new housing developments with lake frontage to provide some sort of lake access.

Brad Armstrong, land development manager for Qualico Communities, said they still need to discuss with the county how best to go about getting more public input.

“We’re not sure at this point whether we’re going to be driving that or whether the county is going to be leading it,” he said.

“It will be a partnership. We’ve been working really closely with the county on the entire development.”

Armstrong said they want to ensure that local landowners are on board.

“It’s a spectacular piece of land. But the last thing that we want to do is have a negative impact on adjacent landowners,” he said.

“We’re hoping we’ll be able to find a solution or find some options or alternatives that’s going to work for everybody.”

While the boat launch issue is worked out, the development can proceed. It is hoped construction could start this fall and the first lots may be ready by late next summer.

The development will feature an extensive trail system, interpretative program, beach and a marina.

Graeme Strathdee, president of the Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, is pleased that another look is being taken at the boat launch.

The society opposed the project at an earlier public hearing because the area is an environmentally sensitive one where fish and waterfowl breed.

Strathdee said while they would rather see no boat launch in the area, an alternative may be to create a boat launch that is aimed at low-horsepower fishing boats and not speedboats and other more disruptive watercraft.

Strathdee also said developers and the county may have difficulty finding another suitable location on the north side of the lake because most spots are similarly environmentally fragile.

Another consideration is the cost. It doesn’t make sense to spend millions on a boat launch that will only be used during the few good boating days each year.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Most Read