MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The provincial Land and Property Right Tribunal (LPRT) has overturned a stop order issued by Mountain View County to Rocky Mountain Motorsports related to a proposed expansion of the Carstairs-area car racing recreation and training track facility.
On June 29, 2023 the county issued the stop order on the property requiring compliance with the sound limits under the original development permit.
RMM appealed that stop order to the LPRT, which issued its ruling on Jan. 24.
The $34 million Rocky Mountain Motorsports car racing recreation and training track facility is located at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 581 on a 385.64-acre parcel.
The company had made an application for a development permit for a $20,000,000 expansion of the facility that would include the construction of eight buildings containing 80 vehicle storage units.
Five of the eight buildings would house the storage units, and the three additional buildings would include wash bays and washrooms, minor infrastructure and additional sound mitigation including berm and fencing.
The stop order was issued regarding alleged non-compliance with three conditions of the original development permit.
The county’s stop order specifically alleged that “noise generate by the development exceeded the maximum levels specified in a development permit condition amended at council to state that sounds averaging will not be an acceptable method of reporting,” the LPRT said in its decision.
“The appellant (RMM) argued the limits were not exceeded, since the amendment to the development permit condition concerns reporting requirements and did not change the way the specified maximum noise level are to be measured to determine compliance.”
In its decisions, the tribunal stated the breaches alleged in the stop order did not demonstrate non-compliance with requirements of the development permit.
“In view of other development permit conditions, the amendment to the condition was clearly a reporting requirement and not a change to the method of measuring sound to determine compliance with the specified limit.
“The development permit condition required the applicant to conform to the noise management plan submitted with the application. It did not provide for the development permit to require an amended noise management plan.”
A number of affected persons who own farmland close to the subject property made submissions to the tribunal during the appeal process, voicing concerns with noise generated the RMM site.
In its ruling, the LPRT said, in part, that it has “great sympathy for the affected persons. However it has narrow jurisdiction in determining an appeal of the stop order, and cannot make revisions to the underlying development permit as requested in their submissions.
“Such revision are more appropriately addressed at the time of future development permits applications. The data and experiences now available will inform in determining appropriate sound mitigation measures to provide a measure of relief.”
Jeff Holmes is the chief administrative officer with Mountain View County,
“Mountain View County is disappointed that the Land and Property Rights Tribunal did not support the county’s interpretation of the development permit,” Holmes told the Albertan.
“The county is committed to working with both RMM and area landowners to find the best possible solution to support both economic development and to mitigate noise impacts on adjacent landowners.
“With the conclusion of the LPRT appeal administration will be discussing with both RMM and area landowners to determine the next steps, and the process to resolve the pending RMM development expansion application that council placed on hold in July of 2023 pending the outcome of the LPRT decision.”
Dominic Young is the president and chief executive office with RMM.
“It is fair to say that we are pleased with the ruling,” Young told the Albertan. “We have always striven to operate in a manner that is within the requirements of the bylaw and development permit.
“The LPRT ruling confirms, in addition to all of the reporting that we have provided to the county, that RMM is operating within the approved regulations.
“Our next steps, assuming that council is supportive of the additional investment RMM wants to make in the county, is to proceed with the $20 million investment in garages. We will also proceed with the first phase of our commercial zone development this spring/summer, bringing new businesses to the county.”