In November 2016, Mayor Jon Lefebure invited representatives from SNA and Vancouver Island Motorsports Circuit (VIMC) to meet with him to discuss the possibility of working together to create a noise management plan.
At that first meeting, the SNA proposed that such a plan include four main elements: noise limits, continuous noise monitoring, regular review sessions, and a binding agreement. The discussion was respectful and positive, and both sides expressed a willingness to meet again. Mayor Lefebure offered to put together a draft noise management plan, and encouraged both sides to submit their ideas, requests, and proposals for plan details. The draft elements would be discussed at our next meeting in January 2017.
The SNA submitted an 11-page report (including footnotes and appendices) with recommendations for each of the four elements. We based these recommendations on a detailed investigation of similar motorsports facilities: those that offered the same types of activities as VIMC and were located adjacent to residential areas. Details on noise limits, monitoring procedures, etc. were taken directly from existing noise management plans at these other tracks. Through our investigations we learned that noise management plans are standard practice at motorsports facilities around the world, and were therefore confident that such a plan could be implemented without compromising the ability of VIMC to operate their business.
Our recommendations, along with those submitted by VIMC, were merged into an 8-point document. At the January meeting, we reviewed each element of that document, and were able to reach agreement on 6 of the 8 points. One of those points was that a future noise management plan would include continuous noise monitoring via stations set up at trackside and in the neighbourhood, and that VIMC would pay for the track monitor while the municipality would pay for the neighbourhood monitor and the cost of live-streaming the noise data to a website.
The next meeting was scheduled for February 2017, and one of the points left to discuss was the issue of noise limits. Specifically, we all needed to come to agreement on appropriate maximum noise limits, and whether these would be set at the track or in the neighbourhood. However, due to scheduling issues we had to postpone that meeting. So, in the meantime, the SNA asked Mayor Lefebure whether the municipality might consider putting up noise monitors now, and use the data collected to better inform the discussion of appropriate noise limits.
Not only did Mayor Lefebure respond positively, and got approval from council to do so, but he invited VIMC to also proceed with setting up continuous noise monitoring, even though a final noise management plan had not yet been established. VIMC agreed, which led to the announcement we posted here on February 28, 2017.
The talks are now on hold while the monitors are acquired and installed, with the help of an acoustical engineering firm. Both parties plan to meet again with Mayor Lefebure once sufficient data has been collected, and it is our hope that we can reach agreement on a noise management plan that will bring peace to the neighbourhood.