Controversial Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit expansion plans rejected by North Cowichan council in marathon public meeting

WatchControversial Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit expansion plans were rejected by North Cowichan council in a marathon public meeting.

An unprecedented North Cowichan council meeting ran for more than seven hours from Monday to Tuesday.

Dozens of speakers, on both sides of the issues, argued until early this morning on the subject of the controversial expansion plans by the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIM-C).

But at the end of the meeting, a unanimous decision by North Cowichan’s council.  They turned down a development application from the VIM-C, which is owned by the GAIN group.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said most people were opposed to the expansion.

READ MORE:  Threat of lawsuit has North Cowichan reconsidering race track expansion

“At the end of the day we decided no, we’re not going to allow the expansion. So that part is dead,” Siebring said.

VIM-C wanted to build a new five-kilometre paved track next to its current facility. The company offered concessions and amenities to address noise concerns. After the North Cowichan turned down a development permit in October, VIM-C threatened the municipality with a $60 million lawsuit.

On Tuesday, Dr. Isabel Rimmer walked along the perimeter of her property. VIM-C is literally a stone’s throw from her acreage. She is happy to hear the proposed expansion is dead.

“It’s about 800 metres away,” Rimmer points in the direction of the facility.

But she still has concerns. “It’s a David and Goliath story that we have here. And for a billion-dollar company to threaten small town with something like this, is, is questionable at the very least,” Rimmer said.

Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit did not return calls or interview requests.


Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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