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On October 4, 2019 North Cowichan Council voted 5 - 2 against an application by the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit (VIMC) to rezone their properties for a massive expansion of their racetrack. Apparently not satisfied with the results of due process, on October 15th VIMC sent North Cowichan a letter threatening to sue for $50 million in damages if the municipality does not grant them a development permit to expand their facilities [read the whole story here].
However, VIMC's claims make no sense. They are not entitled to a development permit for their expansion because that land does not have the same zoning as the land on which they currently operate. In fact, North Cowichan was very explicit when they granted permission for VIMC to build their current facility: approval was based on the combination of Industrial and Commercial Recreational zoning. Here is the evidence:
(note: to download the full report, click here)
The 100-acre parcel of land that VIMC wants to develop has only Industrial zoning. Thus, the Municipality was well within their rights to deny VIMC a development permit and insist on a rezoning (which they did, and which VIMC lost). Denying the development permit in no way jeopardizes the existing operation, but if VIMC is still worried they can always ask the Municipality to rezone the existing facility.
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