New public hearing ordered for Cowichan car circuit expansion

Residents of Sahtlam have banded together saying the roaring sounds from the sports cars are destroying their peace and quiet.

VICTORIA -- North Cowichan council will go back to the public with the question of whether or not to allow the expansion of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. 

The motorsport circuit has threatened the municipality with a $60-million lawsuit if its rezoning application to expand from one circuit to two is denied.

Council voted unanimously Wednesday in favour of holding another public hearing on Dec. 9.

Previously, council had voted against allowing the expansion after hearing from the public at two input sessions.

On Oct. 29, a lawyer representing the circuit's owners sent a letter to the municipality estimating the denial of the expansion and the associated delays will have cost his client in excess of $60 million.

"We are faced with a serious inconsistency, which will have dire financial consequences for North Cowichan," lawyer Lorenzo G. Oss-Cech wrote.

"I advise that patience within my client’s ownership is running very thin. Should this matter land in court, by rough calculations my client’s damages will exceed $60 million. In fact, damages are presently accruing daily due to the unwarranted delays." 

The public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, according to North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

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