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BC Court of Appeal Sides with North Cowichan on VIMC Permit Decision

The BC Court of Appeal has ruled in North Cowichan’s favour and reversed a Supreme Court of BC order to reconsider a development permit application by Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.

In December of 2019, North Cowichan council opted to support a decision made by municipal staff to refuse a development permit to build phase-2 of the facility.

VIMC then took the matter to court, claiming that North Cowichan didn’t provide adequate reasons for denying the development permit.

The lower court ruled in VIMC’s favour and instructed the Municipality to reconsider the application.

However, Mayor Al Siebring says North Cowichan decided it was “not going to reconsider, we’re going to appeal that ruling and the BC Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that we were within our rights to deny that development permit.”

When VIMC began planning for phase-2, a rezoning of the property was proposed in order to create a single comprehensive zone to ensure the proposed use was permitted.

In the autumn of 2019, there was an outpouring of opposition at packed public hearings to the application to rezone the land for phase-2 of the motorsport circuit.

Following the public hearings, North Cowichan council voted against the rezoning application.

VIMC then made its unsuccessful application for a development permit under the present zoning of the land.

When municipal planning staff turned it down, the motorsport circuit appealed to North Cowichan council, which decided in favour of the staff decision, and VIMC subsequently opted to pursue the matter further in court.

The Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit has been operating since June of 2016.

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