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Where is VIMC located?
The Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) is located at 4063 Cowichan Valley Highway. It is on approximately 46 acres adjacent to North Cowichan’s western boundary with the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
What is the VIMC property zoned?
The VIMC property is split-zoned: it is partially Commercial Rural Recreational Zone (C8) and partially Industrial Heavy Zone (I2)
What is the history of the VIMC property?
Originally, this property was owned by the Municipality and was zoned entirely Industrial Heavy (I2). The I2 zoning permits a range of uses, for example: autobody repair, machine shop, commercial cardlock facility, recycling depot, storage yard, truck depot, automobile wreckage or salvage yard, helicopter landing pad, railway yard, slaughterhouse, works yard, and others.
In 2011, 15 acres of the property nearest to the Cowichan Valley Highway were rezoned to Commercial Rural Recreation Zone (C8) for a go-kart facility that was proposed at the time. That go-kart facility was never built. The Municipality sold the property to the owner operating VIMC in 2014.
What permits has the Municipality issued for VIMC?
Under Municipal bylaws, an Environmental Development Permit (DP) and Form and Character Development Permit were required for the VIMC facility. Copies of these permits are available here.
Environmental DPs are required on lands where environmentally-sensitive features may be present. The southwest portion of the VIMC property contains potentially sensitive forest habitat and watercourse/riparian areas. After assessing plans submitted by VIMC, the Municipality issued an Environmental DP on April 14, 2014, binding the owner to develop the property in accordance with a biophysical assessment, riparian area assessment, erosion and sediment control plan and pre-clearing nest survey.
Form and Character DPs are required for all industrial developments within the Municipality. They are intended to ensure that new developments contribute to North Cowichan’s design aesthetic by considering natural landforms and visual characteristics and incorporating best practices in site and building maintenance. After confirming that proposed buildings and landscaping met the Municipality’s DP guidelines and that the site design and infrastructure met the Municipality’s engineering standards, the Municipality issued a Form and Character DP on August 17, 2015.
When did the VIMC facility start operating?
VIMC held its grand opening event on June 6, 2016.
What is known about noise from VIMC?
The VIMC owners hired RWDI AIR to conduct a noise study [PDF - 571 KB] in the summer of 2016. The study measured noise at four locations on a track day (August 28, 2016) and three locations on a non-track day (September 16, 2016). The study provides some preliminary information about noise, but more detailed information and analysis is needed to fully understand what the noise levels are, where, and how to mitigate them. Such a study is being conducted, with input from the Municipality, in summer 2017.
What is being done about noise?
As of June 2017, the owners of VIMC have retained an international acoustical engineering firm to study noise levels coming from the facility and recommend noise mitigation measures. The process will include real time monitoring of sounds, computer simulation using actual site information, and field testing. The Municipality will provide input to VIMC and the acoustical engineering firm through this process.