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Vernon  

Race track fined for noise

The Motoplex Speedway and Event Park near Vernon has been told to keep it down.

A B.C. Supreme court judge has granted an injunction limiting the noise level at the Spallumcheen race track that has hosted two CASCAR events since opening in 2000. The judge referred to the events as NASCAR.

Justice Peter Rogers also ordered the track, of which Okanagan Aggregates Ltd. is listed as the owner, to pay $100,000 in damages to the developer of nearby Lawrence Heights.

No one from Okanagan Aggregates Ltd. was available for comment. Rogers referred to the developer simply as 469.

The track was sued by the developers of the planned community and by individual members of Lawrence Heights over the noise coming from the track and the impact it had on their lifestyle.

The track had been given permission from the Township of Spallumcheen to hold 18 events a year, although in the past few years only a handful of events have been held. In 2014, two race days were held and three were held on 2015.

In his reasons for judgement, posted online, Rogers noted several of the complainants moved into Lawrence Heights knowing there was a race track across the highway.

The plaintiffs charged the track infringed on their lives because of the noise and the developer said the track had impacted sales at the community, 15 minutes north of Vernon on Highway 97.

Rogers agreed, and in his ruling he found the speedway substantially interfered with the individual plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their land and constituted a private nuisance.

Three of the plaintiffs were awarded $7,500 in damages, while one was awarded $5,000.

Rogers stated the track had permission from Spallumcheen to run events 18 days a year “and if the track was not regulated, they will be free to resume racing with any class or type of vehicle, including unmufflered NASCAR cars.

“For that reason, to protect the plaintiffs and to permit 469 to develop lots on the upper terrace, the use of the racetrack must be subject to some limits.”

Rogers said the track “is enjoined from using that land for any purpose that will cause a level of noise exceeding 80 decibels averaged over a five minute period measured at the point on the perimeter of the land most closely proximate to Lawrence Heights.”

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