With the buyer still shrouded in mystery, the Western Speedway and the 81 acres it sits upon are officially up for rezoning.
In a meeting notice issued to Langford residents, the city announced an application for rezoning has been submitted for the 2207 Millstream Rd. property. However, neither city councillors nor staff members were able to confirm the identity of the applicant.
The application does state an intent to rezone the property from commercial recreation to residential small lot 1 on the south side of Millstream Road and business park 9 on the north side, where the Western Speedway is located. Residential small lot zoning allows for single-family dwellings. Business park 9 zoning has not been defined in the city’s latest zoning bylaw document, but business parks generally indicate an area for light industrial and commercial uses.
According to the application, the goal of the rezoning is “to create the development of a business park specific to a variety of business park, commercial and residential uses.”
Established in 1954, the Western Speedway is Western Canada’s oldest speedway and has hosted numerous NASCAR and CASCAR series. Langford Coun. Matt Sahlstrom – who managed the speedway for eight years –is a strong supporter of the track. But, for years now the speedway’s popularity has been waning.
Having spent 40 years there watching races, selling popcorn and tickets, working as the track side announcer and, for nearly 15 years, racing cars himself, there are likely few people with as strong a connection to the speedway.
Others in the community are voicing concern. An online petition to “Save Western Speedway” had nearly 5,200 signatures as of Sunday, Jan. 31.
Residents will have the opportunity to weigh-in on the potential rezoning during the city’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Anyone who wishes to make a written submission can do so electronically or by mail, so long as it is received by no later than 3 p.m. on Feb. 8.
Information on how to connect to the meeting by phone will be posted on the city’s website, langford.ca.
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