Members of the West Coast Dragon Boat Society launch from the dock at Sproat Lake Landing for a practice run in July. Some Sproat Lake residents are concerned about the number of lily pads growing in the lake. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Members of the West Coast Dragon Boat Society launch from the dock at Sproat Lake Landing for a practice run in July. Some Sproat Lake residents are concerned about the number of lily pads growing in the lake. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Sproat Lake residents call for more control over growth

Residents ask Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to crack down on bylaws

Residents of Sproat Lake are concerned about a few issues affecting water quality and the quality of living at the lake.

Bob Cole, of the Sproat Lake Community Association’s Lake Quality Committee was in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board room on Wednesday, Nov. 28 to discuss some of these issues and the developments going on at the lake. The Lake Quality Committee, which was formed two years ago, has been investigating and assembling information and bylaws in order to take the concerns of Sproat Lake residents to the ACRD board.

Sproat Lake, Cole explained, is the most popular lake on the Island, and this is reflected in the community’s high property values and the taxes paid by residents.

“It continues to grow in use and development, but it’s experiencing some problems from relatively uncontrolled growth and use issues that are harming the water quality and the enjoyment of all lake users,” said Cole.

Some of the issues include a lack of zoning and enforcement for docks and boathouse construction, RVs located in riparian areas without sanitation connections, high water on the riparian area at Kleekhoot Marina and a buildup of debris on the Sproat Lake sweep. Cole also mentioned that a new growth of lily pads is “choking” some areas of the lake.

In 1998, the ACRD board came close to adopting bylaws that would address several of these issues, but the motion did not pass. A number of provincial and federal regulations also already exist, in regards to waste discharge, noise and construction.

“Most of which are ignored or the public are unaware of,” Cole added.

The Lake Quality Committee is asking the ACRD to revisit and update these bylaws, ultimately implementing a revised zoning plan that will include adherence to the existing provincial near-shore construction regulations and guidelines. Cole asked the board on Wednesday to support a motion to develop a Lake Surface Zoning plan for presentation to the community of Sproat Lake, for consultation and consideration.

Sproat Lake director Penny Cote agreed with Cole’s presentation, asking the board to follow through with the request using those bylaws drafted in 1998. “I’d really like for staff to take a look at those again and try to bring that forward to today,” she said.

She also set a timeline for spring of 2019, so ACRD staff can start moving right away.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com