North Cowichan council wants in on racetrack noise study

The owners of the new Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit will be asked if the municipality can participate in a noise study at the track.

The owners of the new Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit will again be asked if the Municipality of North Cowichan can participate in a noise study at the track.

But a spokesman with the VIMC, which is owned by the GAIN Dealer Group, said the organization is already midway through a study of noise from the racetrack that is being completed by Wakefield Acoustics.

The spokesman said the VIMC will share the results with the municipality when the study is complete.

Members of the Sahtlam Neighbourhood Association successfully lobbied the municipality’s councillors at a meeting on July 20 to have staff ask the VICM to work with the municipality to prepare a report on the implications of the noise that comes from the racetrack, and possible options to deal with it.

The racetrack is a permitted use at the site, situated on 50 acres on a hillside facing Highway 18 to Lake Cowichan, but members of the SNA maintain that the amount of noise from the racetrack, which opened in June, is far above what the local residents were told it would be.

In a report, North Cowichan’s CAO Dave Devana said staff were informed that the VIMC had already moved forward independently with a study with Wakefield Acoustics that included monitoring from different locations during different events at the facility.

But the SNA responded that the vehicles that make the most noise at the track were not included in any of the testing times and again asked that the association and municipality be allowed to participate in the study.

Coun. Kate Marsh said that would be the best approach as it would ensure the most objective findings from the study.

“We should have a working group establish the parameters of the study,” she said.

“I’m concerned that the cars that are the most disruptive will not be there on the days [the consulting company] will be conducting the tests.”

Mayor Jon Lefebure pointed out that the site is zoned for a racetrack and that the GAIN Group is an independent organization that can only be asked to participate in a joint study.

“We made an attempt at a joint study, but that did not succeed,” he said.

Brent Evans, track operations manager at the VIMC, said the organization believes the days chosen for the testing are reflective of the busiest and slowest days at the track.

“Wakefield Acoustics is a reputable company that has extensive experience in testing noise levels from airports and construction sites, and we’re comfortable with them completing this study,” he said.

Council finally decided to once again ask the VIMC to be part of the study and that Devana report on the results of his inquiry at the next council meeting.

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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