Noise concerns at the Vancouver Island Motor Circuit were discussed by North Cowichan’s new council on Dec. 5. (File photo)

Noise mitigation top of mind for N. Cowichan council as it considers Motorsport Circuit expansion proposal

Motorsport Circuit has applied to build stage two

Members of North Cowichan’s council would like noise issues dealt with at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit before an expansion application is considered.

But council decided at its meeting on Dec. 5 that it will wait until it has received legal advice before putting the motion to make that recommendation to the VIMC to a vote.

Mayor Al Siebring cautioned councillors, four of whom are newly elected, that they have a legal duty to keep an open mind about any development application made to the municipality before it goes to a public hearing.

Coun. Kate Marsh pointed out that council is in no rush to pass such a motion at this stage in the application process.

“I just don’t want us to make any mistakes here,” she said.

The VIMC opened in June, 2016, on a 46-acre parcel of land on the Cowichan Valley Highway, and the levels of noise emanating from the facility have led to complaints and lawsuits from its neighbours from the beginning of its operations.

RELATED STORY: COURT DISMISSES CASE AGAINST COWICHAN’S VIMC

Ted Swabey, North Cowichan’s CAO, outlined VIMC’s application for its second phase at the meeting.

The first phase of the facility involved the construction of the clubhouse and the track, and the second phase calls for an expansion of the track up the slope behind the original track and to the east of the clubhouse.

He said noise studies of the original track have been conducted by the VIMC (the studies found noise to fall within acceptable levels) and an independent firm has been chosen to review the study’s conclusions on behalf of the municipality.

RELATED STORY: NOISE MEETING LESS THAN SUCCESSFUL, SAYS NEIGHBOURHOOD ASSOCIATION

But he said the process was interrupted by the municipal elections in October, and no conclusions have been reported to the municipality at this point.

“We expect that information soon, then we’ll review it with our consultants to see if it is acceptable and then we’ll ask council for direction,” he said.

“We’ve already said to the VIMC that its application (for the second phase) could be in peril if the noise concerns from the first phase are not dealt with to council’s satisfaction. But council must stop short of judging this application until it has all the facts to consider it.”

Coun. Christopher Justice said he doesn’t think it’s possible for council to accurately weigh the pros and cons of phase two until it knows for certain that noise mitigation proposals for stage one actually work.

“We’ll have a hard time weighing the costs and benefits of phase two unless we know these measures work,” he said.

“I know we’re not in a position to consider the application right now, but we should communicate to the VIMC that council considers this of utmost importance.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Veronica Scott is Making Magic, in the window of Imagine That! in Duncan in November, 2020. (Submitted)
A&E column: Fundraising for the arts and more; whimsical windows

Two fundraisers and the latest at Imagine That!

Defenceman Cullen Ferguson had a goal and an assist as the Caps took the Nanaimo Clippers into a shootout last Friday, one of three games in four days for the busy Cowichan Valley Capitals. (Citizen file)
Busy Cowichan Capitals get a look at newcomers

Caps play three games in four nights before two-week break

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Victoria and Nanaimo

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for help from the public to identify the driver of a vehicle after a hit and run in Duncan on Oct. 22, 2020. (File photo)
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP looking for driver after man hit in crosswalk

The hit and run is reported to have taken place on Thursday, Oct. 22

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation's land until a road use agreement is reached
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Most Read