The multimillion-dollar condominium and marina project was approved by Sylvan Lake town council Tuesday evening.
The application from Sylvan Lake Harbour Ltd. that proposes to develop a 5.5 acre lakefront site just west of the water park was approved with conditions by a 4 to 3 vote.
Estimated to be worth around $18 million, the project would see the construction of 55 condominiums in two four-storey buildings as well as a redesigned marina accessible to the public. This construction would take place in two phases.
Coun. Dale Plante, Coun. Laverne Asselstine, Coun. Graham Parsons, and Coun. Rick Grimson voted in favour of the proposal while Mayor Susan Samson, Coun. Sean McIntyre and Coun. Ken MacVicar were in opposition.
The motion was passed with 19 extra conditions included in the report, as proposed from town planning. There was also the condition added by council that the developer reassess the number of parking stalls he would provide.
“This is one those issues where there are pros and there are cons,” said Coun. Parsons.
As seen by a number of letters, many residents and businesses were concerned over the environmental impact, congested traffic and losing their view of the lake from the proposed development.
Under the Area Redevelopment Plan and Land Use Bylaw, the report presented to council noted the proposed building will be set back the required 33 metres from the lake to ensure protection and “adequate public access.”
Some councillors were also troubled by plan, especially when it came to parking and the number of boat stalls.
The proposal includes 136 parking spaces, most of which will be located in an underground parkade.
There are no specific requirements for the development to provide on-site parking for day users of the marina, said town planner Kim Devlin who presented the report to council. Council called into question what this would mean for all the trucks and trailers transporting boats.
“My number one concern is parking,” said Coun. McIntyre. “We don’t have a surplus of parking as it is.”
The developer is willing to work with the town to look for a solution, said Devlin. Possible solutions that can be considered in the future include a valet or shuttle service back and forth from the marina to a town-supplied parking lot.
Mayor Samson reminded council to look at the bigger picture of the development ,beyond parking details and what it would mean for the community.
“This is the investment we’ve been waiting for,” said Mayor Samson. “In my mind the marina development is an opportunity . . . Yes, there’s lots more to look at like parking down the road, but to turn this down, I think, would be a huge disservice to our tourism industry.”