The Comox Valley Regional District’s Electoral Areas Services Committee will be reviewing an application to rezone several of the lots owned by the Saratoga Speedway complex in Black Creek this February. The rezoning requests include a change from CR-1 Country Residential One to allow for Recreational Vehicle Park and Campground usages for up to 168 RV spots. A loosely formed group of Black Creek citizens dubbed the Saratoga Speedway Complex Concerned Citizens have come together in opposition to the rezoning, and will be making a presentation to the CVRD committee.
The group’s main concerns about the proposed rezoning are the many negative effects on the local community that the addition of 168 RV campsites – the equivalent to adding a small village to the area – and the possible effects on farming and agriculture, natural resources, and environmental concerns through the large increase in traffic to this rural area would be. This will have concurrent implications for water, effluent, traffic, policing, fire, and medical services. The fact that the CVRD has not completed a Local Area Plan that supports the changes proposed is worrisome and unacceptable. The proposal states that “no new noise will be created from this site,” but locals have already noted a serious increase in the noise generated by the track itself since the takeover of the new owners last year. Deciding to allow expansion of the speedway complex would solidify an incomplete Local Area Plan that supports a speedway and its negative impacts in perpetuity on noise, increased burning of fossil fuels adding to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, area water depletion, increased costs for emergency services, negative impacts on agriculture and ecosystems, and the loss of being a distinct rural community known for its coastal beauty and ecosystems.
The Saratoga Speedway Complex Concerned Citizens, many whom are decades’ long residents of the area and include local farmers, business owners, and others will be presenting to the CVRD committee at their Feb.14 meeting, challenging the proposal to rezone and including a petition signed by 500+ residents who oppose the rezoning. Anyone wishing to add their name to the petition may do so by visiting www.change.org and looking for Saratoga Speedway Rezoning. For more information, or to request to sign a paper version of the petition, email email@example.com.