As the weather has gotten warmer more people have been venturing out to the beaches in Chestermere, however, for non-residents access will be changing.

During the Tuesday, July 28 council meeting the council members voted on a new bylaw that will introduce a fee for non-residents of Chestermere to access the three lakeside parks.

“Our main goal for 2020 is to keep people safe,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “We know that implementing capacity limits is the best way to ensure all beachgoers can have a safe and fun experience, but adding fencing and security is not free. As Chestermere residents already pay for the maintenance of the beaches, adding an admission fee for those who do not live in our community will help to offset the costs of keeping visitors safe during this global pandemic.”

When asked if residents outside of Chestermere taxes are used to pay for maintenance of the beaches, Mayor Chalmers noted that this falls on the shoulders of the residents within the city of Chestermere 

This bylaw was put in place under the Municipal Government Act which allows the City of Chestermere to regulate activities on Chestermere Lake under the agreement with the Western Irrigation District.

The City of Chestermere has seen overcrowding on the beaches so far this seasons and Mayor Chalmers noted that some changes that come at a cost had to be put in place.

"With the Covid-19 we were forced to come up with some kind of solution to address that and working Alberta Health and the Provincial Government we were able to put in a capacity limit on the beaches and then with that of course, we had to put up fencing and put people in place to make sure that there was enough room on the beaches for a certain amount of people."

Non-resident visitors for the remainder of 2020 will be applied for daily use and range from $5 for those 3-15 and $15 for anyone over the age of 15, family passes are also available for $40.

“At the end of this year, we will review its effectiveness and need for the future,” the mayor said. “That way, we can ensure we are still following the best ways to keep our residents and visitors safe, even as they enjoy our city.”

To access and of the lakeside parks residents will need to provide proof of residency to receive their daily wristband.

The maximum limit at Anniversary Park will be 615 people (115 on the beach), the maximum limit at Cove Beach will be 205 (39 on the beach) and the maximum at Sunset Park will be 483. If overcrowding continues to be a problem, the City may further limit or close beaches.

More information can be found at chestermere.ca