The motorsports community is asking to use 25 of 1,400 acres in Campbell Valley Regional Park, 12 to 14 times per year, for shows that will last about four hours. Putting it another way, they want to use less than two per cent of the park for less than four per cent of the year.
In exchange, the motorsports community will refurbish the track and spectator area into a multi-use facility at no expense to the taxpayer, and create a revenue stream that can be used on other park projects.
Nowhere else in the Metro Vancouver area do we have an outdoor facility capable of seating 10,000 in a beautiful natural bowl, to watch such things as outdoor theatre, concerts or even a car race.
This is a multi-use park intended for use by the general public in the Lower Mainland. It is under-utilized. Changes can be made to protect what is already there, while enhancing it for greater use.
The horse community and the motor-sports community have peacefully co-existed in the bigger picture of Langley for years. There is no reason to believe they cannot do so at Campbell Valley Regional Park.
Not all equestrian people are opposed to this proposal. That is a myth. Some actually support it because they see many of the improvements the motorsports community will make can actually be to their benefit. They also understand this is not just a horse park.
Langley is the self-proclaimed “Horse Capital of Canada” but could just as easily be proclaimed as the “Car Enthusiasts Capital of Canada.”
There are businesses which employ many people, operating in Langley today, as a legacy of the track that closed 29 years ago. They exist today because the track existed yesterday. It really is that simple.
For the letter writer to suggest it is reasonable to expect people to make a three- to eight-hour return journey to enjoy their choice of entertainment, because he is not willing to share two per cent of his playground, really undermines his overall position. To be blunt, he comes across as greedy and closed-minded.
There are some legitimate issues. They can all be worked out if we stick to the facts.
I thank you for considering publication of my letter even though I live in Maple Ridge. This is a Metro Vancouver regional park, supported in part by my tax dollars along with everyone else’s in the Lower Mainland. It is for all of us to use.