Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit in Cowichan Valley. Supplied by VIMC Facebook page.
The date of the second public hearing involving the potential expansion of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) is set for the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on December 9.
The VIMC wants to expand and rezone the property into a single comprehensive development zone and council voted 5-2 against this rezoning on October 4, as Mayor Al Siebring and Councillor Tek Manhas voted in favour of the expansion.
Siebring said he’s called for a second public hearing because of new information that the public needs to be aware of.
“On the fifteenth of October and subsequently, the lawyers for VIMC made public the fact that we could be facing a, potentially, very large lawsuit,” said Siebring. “That was information that was not available to the public at the first public hearing, it’s available now.”
“I determined that the public needs to have an opportunity to have input on that new information,” added Siebring.
Under Section 131 of the Community Charter, the Mayor has the authority to reconsider any vote made by council.
In a letter to the Municipality of North Cowichan, lawyers from the VIMC have stated that damages in the ballpark of $60 million dollars will be requested if this matter goes to court.
Siebring said this hearing could result in more taxes.
“It may well be that the public comes to the public hearing and says, ‘we’ve seen this, we don’t care, council hold the line, deny that development permit, we don’t want it and we’ll take the hit.’ “On the other hand, there may be people who show up and want us to take a more cautionary approach and say, ‘hang on a minute, this could potentially impact me and we want you to take another look at this,’ ” said Siebring.
The first public hearing went for about nine hours over two days and hundreds of people showed up at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, the site of the next public hearing.
It starts at 6 pm on December 9.