Stock car racing fans pushing to reopen a historic racetrack in Campbell Valley Regional Park may be nearly out of gas.
A Metro Vancouver staff report recommends the regional district halt its study of a proposal from the Langley Speedway Historical Society and inform the group that racing won’t be allowed again in the park.
The issue is slated to go to a vote of Metro’s environment and parks committee Thursday morning, where several delegations opposed to a revived racetrack in the park are to speak.
The society has proposed racing at a restored speedway on a maximum of 14 days a year, with the facility acting as a multi-purpose venue for other events as well – potentially acting as a money maker for the Metro parks department.
Metro staff had previously opposed the concept but the politicians who sit on the committee voted 7-6 in May to at least study it further.
The report says Campbell Valley Regional Park contains sensitive ecosystems that are home to various threatened species.
“Species at risk such as red-legged frog, western toad, Pacific water shrew, great blue heron and American bittern are likely to inhabit the immediate area around the track,” it says.
The report cautions that forging forward would consume more staff time at a cost of other priorities and ring up possibly significant consulting costs to carry out an extensive feasibility assessment and public consultation.
If directed to proceed, it says, the society would be approached to cover the “several hundred thousand dollars” of expected costs.
Opening a speedway in the park would trigger external reviews by the Township of Langley and Agricultural Land Commission, and possibly provincial and federal environmental reviews, the report said.
The old stock car racing oval closed in 1984.
Equestrians and other neighbours and park users strongly oppose reviving the speedway, citing noise and other concerns.