More than 200 people came out to an open house on a proposed drag strip for the community late in 2018. After what the city calls ‘mixed feedback’ on the proposal over the years the plan has been in development, the city will look for another location for the facility. Mirror File Photo

Campbell River wants a drag strip, needs a location

Proposal to put it at the airport abandoned due to neighbourhood concerns

Campbell River city council will be looking for other options for the much-debated proposed drag strip that was proposed to be built out at the airport.

“Considering both the anticipated economic benefits of motorsport racing events in Campbell River, and the challenges related to developing a facility adjacent to the airport, council has decided not to pursue the use of the airport land for a drag strip and has directed staff to work with the Vancouver Island Motor Sport Association (VIMSA) to explore options for alternative locations,” according to a press release from the city.

The city had been working with VIMSA to consider a proposal to develop 45 acres of land adjacent to the airport. Information from the provincial government confirmed that to use the land for a purpose unrelated to airport operations, the city would have to pursue removal of the land from the airport land grant, the release says. This would require land transfers and associated long-term borrowing to purchase the land.

The city has received mixed community feedback on the proposal to develop a drag strip adjacent to the airport, including letters from Homalco First Nation and from Couverdon outlining concerns about the proposed airport location. But because of a recent study that shows the estimated economic impact such a facility would have on the community – almost $2 million annually in direct local impact, for example – the city wants to explore other options to see the project come to fruition.

“We see the value in VIMSA’s initiative and want to support this moving forward,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “Given the information we’ve received about costs to develop near the airport, and the community concerns we’ve heard about creating a facility at this site, council feels best way to support this initiative is for the city to help VIMSA find a suitable alternative location.”

VIMSA has been working on the proposal since 2016, engaged in many community consultation sessions over that time and repeatedly stated that they have no interest in creating a venue that will be disruptive to the surrounding community.

“We do not want to build a facility in a place that would cause a noise issue,” VIMSA president Jim Johnson wrote in a letter to council late last year after the city received the concerns from Couverdon. “I’ve seen many racing facilities come and go, and I have no interest in being involved in one that’s built in the wrong location.”

RELATED: Still looking for a place to race

RELATED: Drag racing open house attracts 200-plus in Campbell River



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Alberni teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Missing Alberni teens now suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Vancouver Island town facing unprecedented fine for failure to deal with its wastewater

Cumberland moves to get legal advice and appeal penalties of more than $85,000

Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Vancouver Island author in the running for national fiction award

Diana Stevan’s historical novel Sunflowers Under Fire a finalist for Whistler Independent Book Award

Most Read