Neighbours of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit arrived at its gates early on the morning of Aug. 11 to protest against excessive noise from the track. (Submitted photo)

Motorsport Circuit zoning and noise issues going to court this month

Neighbours suing North Cowichan and Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit

Several residents of Sahtlam arose early on Saturday, Aug. 11, to carry signs and peaceably protest against what they consider to be noise levels that are too high at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit on Highway 18.

The protest was the latest salvo in a campaign led by the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association against noise from the track, which opened in 2016.

During the week of Aug. 27-31, at a date and time yet to be announced, the first segment of a lawsuit that deals with zoning that the SNA and six local residents have filed against the VIMC and the Municipality of North Cowichan in Victoria Supreme Court in June, 2017, is expected to be before a judge.

The lawsuit claims that the VIMC is creating excessive noise by engaging in activities that are in violation of North Cowichan’s zoning bylaws.


If the court decides after the upcoming hearing that VIMC is operating in violation of the current zoning, the motor circuit could be ordered to cease operations until the zoning is changed.

The VIMC has countered that it’s up to local governments to determine if a bylaw is being violated, not the courts.

According to the neighbourhood association’s submission to the courts, two-thirds of the VIMC’s property is not zoned for a race track, so the entire facility is not operating legally, and the Municipality of North Cowichan has been named in the civil suit for failing to enforce the zoning bylaw.

As for the second part of the lawsuit, which is not expected to be before the courts until Oct., 2019, the SNA’s submission states that the provincial nuisance law prohibits anyone from “substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of property”.

The SNA is claiming that VIMC is creating a nuisance by causing substantial and unreasonable noise.

Paul Rossmo, general manager of the VIMC, said he is disappointed that the group of neighbors have applied to the court to have the facility closed.

“We believe we have been good neighbours and that the jobs, tourism and community development in Cowichan has benefited the community,” he said

The Municipality of North Cowichan said it has no comment on the issue at this time.

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

Brentwood jr. girls playing at B.C. hoops championship

Brentwood College School’s junior girls basketball team is making history this week.… Continue reading

Lake Cowichan, Duncan to host Masters Curling Championship

Begining next Tuesday and running until March 8

North Cowichan to seek suggestions from First Nation in renaming street

Section of Humbird Street in Chemainus was to be renamed MacMillan Street

Cowichan’s Mikrogiannakis a finalist for BCHL MVP and top defenceman

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis is a B.C. Hockey League all-star,… Continue reading

Cowichan Tribes to get $750,000 for erosion projects on Cowichan River

Funding comes from the province’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read