Western Speedway may be running out of track, at least how we now know it.
The Langford racetrack, which opened in 1954, is the oldest speedway in Western Canada and has hosted numerous NASCAR and NASCAR series events, may have to find another location under a development proposal being presented to the city tonight.
According to the staff report, the developers have proposed allowing racing to continue until the fall of 2022 and have included $2.5 million that would go toward finding a new location for the raceway.
Bastion Development Corporation and Strand Holdings, the companies handling a proposal to purchase the Western Speedway properties, have applied to rezone the land to include residential homes on a portion of the 81-acre property and a business park in separate areas.
According to a City of Langford staff report, the application seeks to amend a portion of the property at 2207 Millstream Rd. from business or light industrial to neighbourhood to allow for about 60 residential homes by rezoning a portion of the property from commercial recreation to residential small lot. The remainder of the property would be rezoned from commercial recreation to a new business park, which would be consistent with the current Official Community Plan designation of business or light industrial.
The subject property on the east side of Millstream Road is bisected by Millstream Creek and has become increasingly densified through residential development during the past 20 years, the report noted.
Although the applicants declined to comment at this time, some of the proposed uses for the business park include a recording or broadcast studio for the production of radio and television programming. The applicant has also requested a hotel as a permitted use, which the applicants believe would assist in attracting a film studio. Staff included that use contingent on it being in conjunction with a film studio only because a hotel is not a typical use for a business park, the staff report stated.
The report lists other uses such as an adult daycare to provide services that assist adults with disabilities, and an electric or hybrid charging facility, and a business park office with office space. That could include activities associated with but not necessarily accessory to another business park, such as administrative offices for research, development, manufacturing and the administration of education and training facilities, as well as offices for trades, trade unions, contractors, and offices for wholesale distribution independent of a wholesale storage function.
Coun. Roger Wade, vice-chair of Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee, said that Langford has done a few business parks in the past few years.
“As the zone develops, different uses are considered,” Wade said. “The meeting on Feb. 8 is the first opportunity for the committee to review the application.”
The residential housing proposed for the southwest portion of the property is a relatively minor part of the property, he noted.
An online petition to “Save Western Speedway” had nearly 5,200 signatures as of Sunday, Jan. 31.