File photo of a race night at Saratoga Speedway in Black Creek.

File photo of a race night at Saratoga Speedway in Black Creek.

Comox Valley Regional District proposes compromise to address racetrack noise

In an effort to reach a compromise between auto racing fans and residents wanting peace and quiet, the Comox Valley Regional District has proposed a solution to address ongoing noise complaints about Saratoga Speedway.

At Tuesday’s CVRD board meeting, rural directors approved a staff recommendation to limit noise as follows:

*Mondays and Tuesdays all times.

*Wednesdays and Thursdays before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

*Fridays and Saturdays before 11 a.m. and after 9:30 p.m.

*Sundays before 11 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Area C director Edwin Grieve feels this is the best possible compromise and balance for the interim. The next step involves hammering out a proper zoning to allow the Black Creek speedway to operate in the future.

“This will bring predictability and certainty, and allow one evening a week where residents can enjoy a barbecue with family and friends in the peace and quiet of their backyards,” said Grieve, who thinks a number of issues can be addressed through a land use rezoning.

A group called the Saratoga Speedway Complex Concerned Citizens have made several complaints about excessive noise at the track. Last month, the board approved an amendment to limit racing noise to five days a week until 8 p.m. However, directors had a change of heart at the July 12 meeting when the gallery was filled with speedway supporters.

READ: Regional directors look for middle ground at Black Creek track

Area B director Arzeena Hamir noted that some people have assumed the board was trying to shut down the speedway.

“I never heard that at the table,” she said. “I’m concerned about where the source of that came from.”

The board will consider third reading of an amended noise control bylaw at the Aug. 9 meeting, and fourth reading (adoption) Aug. 30.

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