Put the BRAKES on Drag Racing alongside Nymph Falls Nature Park
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The Nymph Falls Nature Park is one of the jewels of the Comox Valley; located along the Puntledge River, it is a major attraction for local and visiting outdoor enthusiasts because of its extensive trail network, tranquility, wildlife and beautiful second growth forests. The clear river waters are also home to some of the Valley's most popular swimming holes, such as Nymph falls and Barbers Hole, where Valley residents come to cool off and enjoy the serene surroundings of the Park during the summer months. The trails are also a popular location for hikers, mountain bikers and are categorized as a dog-friendly park with leashing optional trails.
Now, imagine this tranquil experience being interrupted by the smell of tire rubber and the deafening sound of high performance drag racing cars squealing their tires, revving their engines and going full-throttle down a recently constructed strip located within 50 metres of the park trails. This is now the case as a paved strip has been recently constructed at the site of the Smit Airfield on private property, located mere metres from Nymph Falls and BC Hydro Puntledge River Park trails. As recently as May 25th and 26th, during a very hot and dry weekend here in the Comox Valley, drag racing and motorsports activities were being undertaken on this property with the deafening noise of high-performance racing engines being heard persistently throughout the park trails, neighbourhood, river and as far away as the Comox Lake Damn at the top of the Puntledge River. Not only does it cause a great disturbance to park users, but it also causes a disturbance to wildlife, dogs along the walking trails and poses a risk of a wildfire start due to the close proximity of the racetrack to the park forest.
The area and site of these auto racing events is under the jurisdiction of the Comox Valley Regional District and is zoned as RU-20 under Comox Valley Zoning Bylaw No. 2781. The zoning bylaw regulates "auto racing" as it is listed under the category of "Outdoor Recreation". Unlike low-impact recreation activities, "Outdoor Recreation" usage, which includes auto racing, is only permitted in certain zoning within the Regional District and is not permitted in RU-20 zoning. As set out in Bylaw No. 2781, "Outdoor Recreation" and auto racing are only allowed in zones where it is explicitly permitted under the bylaw, such as in TC-1 zoning where the Saratoga Speedway is located. This type of activity is not permitted in the Forbidden Plateau road area, especially immediately adjacent to a nature park.
These drag racing events continue to occur right beside the park and trails and the Regional District has yet to curb these activities. Please voice your concern by signing this petition to finally put a stop to these unauthorized activities which are not only ruining the enjoyment of the park users, but are also disturbing pets and wildlife, devaluing neighboring properties and posing a serious risk for a wildfire start in the case of engine overheating or an accident.
Nymph Falls Nature Park:
Regional District Bylaw Complaint Form:
BC Hydro Puntledge River Trails:
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