WATCH: Some living in the Cowichan Valley are up in arms after a test track for high speed vehicles began operating in the area. They say the neighbourhood atmosphere has been ruined. But the owners insist they’ve followed all the rules, and now plan to expand the track. Calvin To reports.
A group of residents in the Cowichan Valley have banded together against the owners of a high speed test track in North Cowichan.
They say the noise from sports cars has ruined the atmosphere of their neighbourhood.
Cowichan Valley resident and Sahtlam Community Association president Isabel Rimmer says her complaints to the company have fallen on deaf ears.
“It just makes you feel angry,” Rimmer says. “It makes you feel very frustrated, and until recently, until we banded together as a group and broadened the community that is against this, we felt very powerless as well.”
The track was built by the Victoria-based GAIN Dealer Group on land purchased by the company.
The mayor of North Cowichan says the municipality is planning to hold a sound study before taking any action. The process could take months.
“We need to work hard to find that balance where the noise is not harming the neighbourhood, and yet, the facility can operate as it was intended,” says mayor Jon Lefebure.
In response to concerns from residents, GAIN Dealer Group’s CEO Peter Trzewik sent CHEK News an email, which included the following:
“… there is no noise bylaw in the district. So we could do what ever we want too (sic). However, we… have adopted the noise by law (sic) of… CVRD… and are far below allowable limits… The people there don’t realize that the property was zoned industrial and they want to live in a Forrest (sic).”
Rimmer says the company’s responses have been frustrating so far.
“They have underestimated our investment here, they have underestimated our commitment to our lives and properties, they have underestimated our resolve, and our intelligence and our understanding,” Rimmer says.
She, along with a group of residents, plan to bring the issue to North Cowichan council on Thursday to lobby against the expansion.