Members of the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association were less than pleased with a meeting on July 25 with the Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit (pictured) and the Municipality of North Cowichan. (File photo)

Members of the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association were less than pleased with a meeting on July 25 with the Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit (pictured) and the Municipality of North Cowichan. (File photo)

Noise meeting less than successful, says neighbourhood association

Vancouver Island Motor Circuit still at odds with neighbours

A less than fruitful meeting on July 25 has the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association (SNA) regrouping to consider its options.

Members met with the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) and the Municipality of North Cowichan to try to bring some relief to noise concerns from the track this summer.

Association president Isabel Rimmer said it was the third meeting in the Save Our Summer campaign since June, in which the SNA had asked for a calendar of events for the summer so that residents could plan their days around the noisier events at the track.

The SNA was also hoping that the VIMC would grant its request to have at least one guaranteed day during the week in which noise would be kept to a minimum, and to not start operations until noon on Sundays.

Rimmer said none of those requests were addressed at the meeting.

“We were told that there was nothing the VIMC could do to make us happy and there’s no point in talking to us anymore,” she said.

“We asked about being provided a calendar of events for the summer, but they said they wouldn’t give us a copy. They said if we knew who was coming to the track, we’d bully and harass them. The representatives from North Cowichan said nothing during the meeting.”

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Rimmer said the SNA arranged the meetings and is always open to discussion.

“We’re not working to close the track, and we’re doing our best to have our concerns dealt with with open hearts and minds,” she said.

“These discussions are not about the lawsuit, just about trying to make the best out of the rest of this summer. The VIMC is showing no goodwill in helping us through the summer so we’ll have to have a meeting of our directors to determine what course of action we will take next.”

Paul Rossmo, general manager of the VIMC, said as the track’s issues with the SNA are now before the courts, he can’t comment at this time.

Ted Swabey, CAO of North Cowichan, also declined comment due to the ongoing litigation.

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

The SNA has since filed a lawsuit against both the VIMC and the Municipality of North Cowichan over the noise issues, and the zoning that allowed the facility to open at its site.

The SNA is arguing that North Cowichan’s zoning for the location doesn’t allow for a track of this nature, and the province’s nuisance law prohibits anyone from “substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of property.”

Rimmer said the zoning component of the lawsuit is expected to be before the courts sometime next month, while the nuisance component related to the noise is not expected to be in court until October, 2019.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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