Metro Vancouver parks committee rejects Langley Speedway proposal

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      Metro Vancouver has hit the brakes on a bid to reintroduce auto racing at the Langley Speedway in Campbell Valley Regional Park.

      The regional district’s environment and parks committee today (July 11) voted against proceeding with a feasibility study on restoring the old track.

      “The proposal of this project to me does not fit in with the goals or the management plan or the policies of this committee or of the [Metro Vancouver] board,” said committee chair Heather Deal, also a Vancouver city councillor.

      The unsolicited proposal, put forward by the Langley Speedway Historical Society, generated a mix of support and opposition from the public.

      Opponents complained the noise and crowds from race events would spoil the park’s atmosphere and disrupt its users, particularly those who ride horses along the equestrian trails.

      However, Langley Speedway Historical Society president Murray Jones argued restoring the track—which was in operation until 1984—could generate revenue for the regional district.

      “Just because they've said no to the idea of bringing back stock car racing at that particular location doesn't mean that it's no longer significant or an important part of the community,” Jones told reporters following the vote.

      “It makes it more difficult for us to do some of the things that we would like to do in regards to restoring the site because it would have been a good way of generating revenue for us and for some of the other park partners. But other than that, we'll just continue on [with] business as usual,” he said.

      Surrey city councillor Barbara Steele was among several committee members who spoke against conducting further study into allowing racing in the park.

      During the committee meeting, Steele said she is not opposed to the sport of auto racing but does not think an active speedway belongs in the regional park.

      “I do believe that there are other places where this would be able to fit in,” Steele said.

      Also during the meeting, the environment and parks committee heard from five speakers, all of whom spoke against the proposal to restore the track.

      Among the speakers was Michelle Meacher, executive director of Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities, a group based near the park that uses horseback riding as therapy for people with disabilities.

      Meacher said the racing activity would disrupt her nonprofit group’s operations by upsetting the horses.

      “They will be affected by the noise from the raceway, causing stress and anxiety in an animal whose calm, quiet disposition is vital for the safety of our clients,” she told the committee.

      After the committee vote, Meacher expressed relief, telling reporters: “I'm surprised that it has taken this many months of fighting and we had to fight as hard as we did but it's great to hear that the committee did vote in our favour.”




      Jul 11, 2013 at 3:26pm

      Well, that makes sense.

      It's obviously not a massive taxpayer priority, but I wonder if some thought (and someone else's money) could be used to satisfy the Needs For Speed among our civic youth, somewhere else nearby?

      I hear them a-racing down Broadway in the middle of the night.

      I think they need somewhere to go to do this sort of thing.


      Jul 11, 2013 at 3:46pm

      There are two tracks one in Mission and one in Agassiz. Mission is only 30 minutes from Langley. This guy did not have any money - he wants government grants. These tracks are not very profitable that is why the track failed to begin with.


      Jul 12, 2013 at 7:04am

      Randy is wrong on all accounts. Do your research.


      Jul 12, 2013 at 8:01am

      The race track would not have brought very much money into the Parks system but it would have been a great advantage for pro-Speedway people to be "given" a piece of park land for their car races. If Mission, Aggisez and Skagit aren't enough for them - and perhaps they're not - then they'll have to do what any business does: find some land, purchase or lease it, and build their facilities. I'm glad to see sane minds prevailed and car racing was kept out of our parks. I'm sure there's something even MORE inappropriate than racing cars in a nature park... but I'm hard pressed to come up with anything.


      Jul 12, 2013 at 11:58am

      Uh yeah Trent I have done my 'homework' - how silly. Why do you think Murray is looking for free land and needs government grants for operating money. Give your head a shake there buddy. Murray's proposal would never have been profitable and that is why union people never run successful businesses. Only take take take.


      Jul 12, 2013 at 12:56pm

      How about people complaining about racing noise who have bought a house near a race course...?


      Jul 12, 2013 at 1:59pm

      No kidding RUK. Spend a million or two or 10 and then put up with a raceway - oh yeah that won't cause any type of litigation whatsoever.

      Hudspn Dane

      Jul 12, 2013 at 5:34pm

      The LSHS proposal was defeated because it could not meet the purpose and goals set out in the 2011 Metro Vancouver Regional Park Plan and the 1998 Campbell Valley Park Management Plan. Also the costs associated with the next step would have been in the hundred of thousandths paid by us the taxpayers and had a poor outcome of succeeding because the park is in the Agriculture Land Review, needed Dept.of Fisheries blessing and the residents would have been strongly against it.

      K. elliott

      Jul 12, 2013 at 9:25pm

      Just how much money is the horsey crowd putting into this park I wonder? Perhaps they should go and get their own private land to play on. And when was the last time you saw a horse rider stop and pick up horsey doo-doo?


      Jul 14, 2013 at 1:12pm

      The "horsey crowd" is a small percent of the community. They contribute also to maintain the trails and arenas. The horsey crowd contributes to the local economy in a huge way - far more than car fans. However, the problem is that the speedway was going to cost money and Murray Jones does NOT have any money. So stop the hating and grow some brains.