Judicial review is underway of North Cowichan’s decision to deny a development permit to the VIMC. (File photo)

Judicial review of North Cowichan’s decision on Motorsport expansion underway

Municipality denied Motorsport Circuit a development permit last year

A judicial review of the Municipality of North Cowichan’s decision last year to deny the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit a development permit to expand its facility on Highway 18 is underway.

The judicial review is being held in a Vancouver courtroom over two days, Sept. 9-10, in which both sides will present their cases, with the court expected to release its decision sometime after that.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring and CAO Ted Swabey are attending the judicial review.

The court will decide if the municipality followed proper procedures in denying the development application.

If the court decides in favour of the VIMC, the implications could be financially dire for North Cowichan.

In a report to council written last December, Swabey said if the VIMC sues, which it has indicated it would if the judicial review goes its way, the municipality could face a liability of up to $60 million in a worst-case scenario.

RELATED STORY: RESIDENTS OF NORTH COWICHAN COULD FACE 133% TAX HIKE IN ‘WORST CASE’ LAWSUIT OUTCOME: REPORT

After two well-attended public hearings on VIMC’s expansion proposal held last November and December, North Cowichan’s council decided twice to deny the rezoning application due to community concerns about noise, environmental impacts, and First Nations objections.

The liability North Cowichan could face was spelled out in correspondence the municipality received from the VIMC’s lawyers, Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt Barristers & Solicitors, soon after the rezoning application was rejected.

It stated that when the VIMC bought the property from the municipality in 2016, it was based on the written assurances from North Cowichan, without any disclaimers, that the zoning for the intended uses “was appropriate”, and, based on that assurance, the VIMC invested over $37 million to construct phase one of the facility and was fully intending and expecting to build phase two on adjacent lands.

RELATED STORY: VIMC SAYS NORTH COWICHAN BACKED OUT OF ‘ASSURANCES’

The letter said the VIMC will “pursue all legal remedies available”.

“In the circumstances, having invested so much time and money in reliance on the municipality’s assurances and conduct to date, it will be left with no other choice,” the letter concluded.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

development

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

Just Posted

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

New program helps pregnant women and new mothers using drugs in Cowichan

The Healthy Care Pregnancy Program pairs a registered social worker or nurse with a pregnant woman

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farmstand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

WildWings Festival pandemic edition coming to Cowichan in October

Three outdoor events, two reception-free art shows, and one small indoor workshop.

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read