Wording on Sylvan Lake plan toughened

Red Deer County has agreed to toughen up the wording of a development plan with Sylvan Lake to address concerns raised by Lacombe County.

Red Deer County has agreed to toughen up the wording of a development plan with Sylvan Lake to address concerns raised by Lacombe County.

The town and Red Deer County approved an intermunicipal development plan to guide development around the lakeshore development in October.

However, Lacombe County politicians argued the plan didn’t go far enough in ensuring the lake is not harmed by future development. Council voted last month to appeal the IDP.

In making its case, Lacombe County pointed out that its Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan requires a 15-metre environmental reserve setback from wetlands and a 30-metre no-development zone from the lake.

The intermunicipal plan refers to setting aside a 30-metre setback “where possible.” The county was also not happy that there is no requirement in the IDP for multi-lot developments on communal water or sewer systems to hook up to regional water and sewer lines when they become available.

In amendments approved by Red Deer County council on Tuesday, the “where possible” is eliminated from the text, meaning a 30-metre reserve will be required when land on the shoreline of the lake is subdivided outside the town.

Other changes make it clear that developments must tie into regional sewer and water systems once they become available.

Mayor Jim Wood said he’s satisfied with the changes, which were worked out after administrations from the three municipalities met.

Measures were already in place in other planning documents to ensure the lake is protected as areas along the shoreline are developed, he said.

“But they weren’t listed specifically in this IDP document and so what we’re doing is just bringing more clarity into the process.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com