A proposal to revive the historic Langley Speedway stock car racing track in Campbell Valley Regional Park is being opposed by Metro Vancouver regional district staff.
The issue is coming back to Metro’s environment and parks committee on Thursday, where the staff recommendation is to halt further consideration of the proposal made earlier this year by the Langley Speedway Historical Society.
According to a staff report, the park contains sensitive ecosystems near the former speedway grounds.
“Previous studies of this forested area indicate that 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 committee previously asked staff to report back on the feasibility of reopening the track and to advise how Metro might consult the public, if the board opted to take it further.
The staff report warns an extensive feasibility assessment would be needed, along with significant public consultation – potentially costing Metro several hundred thousand dollars.
It calls on Metro’s board to reiterate its past position that racing not be allowed in Campbell Valley park.
Speedway society reps have proposed sharing speedway revenues with Metro and allowing the facility for other uses, such as concerts and other outdoor events.
The Greater Vancouver Regional District bought the park property in 1969 and the speedway closed in 1985, after a series of lease extensions following a three-year termination notice in 1979.
Metro says the park now attracts nearly 700,000 visitors a year.
On Thursday’s agenda as delegations to speak are the speedway society’s Murray Jones, Campbell Valley Park Association chair Jude Grass and Kathy Kolb, a Richmond resident who opposes the proposal.
According to a letter from Grass, the park association is “absolutely opposed” to reopening the speedway, arguing the geography of the park magnifies the sound of racing cars both within the park and to the surrounding neighbourhood.