A proposal to rezone a property on Highway 118 East for snowmobile racing received overwhelming support during the latest Bracebridge Development Services committee meeting.
The property, owned by Glenn Goodale of Goodale Marine, has been used for snowmobile racing and practice for more than a decade but an issue over zoning had put a stop to the snowmobiling.
Last week’s meeting was attended, both virtually and in person, by supporters from across the province who spoke in favour of the rezoning. Many spoke of the track’s role in helping foster the talents of young riders and that out-of-town riders and their families contribute to the local economy by staying in Town while using the track.
“It means a lot to me and my two boys,” said Ryan Dali from Alton, ON. “Let the Goodale family continue to do what they’ve been doing because they really are doing good things for your community.”
Glenn Goodale explained to the committee that, unbeknownst to many in the community, Bracebridge has berthed many high-level snowmobile racers.
“Six of the last 10 years, the Canadian snowcross champion has come from Bracebridge,” said Goodale. “In the last 10 years, 89 people from Bracebridge have stepped on the top three rungs. We are a huge snowcross concern.”
There were some concerns received from the public regarding noise and potential negative impact on property values but ultimately the proposal had the full support of the committee.
The bulk of the discussion centred around how many riders should be allowed on the track at one time.
Staff recommended a maximum of six riders at a time, but Goodale had said that number would seriously impact the track’s viability.
Mayor Rick Maloney put forward an amendment to up the number of riders to 10. Coun. Barb McMurray then put forward a subsequent amendment for 12 riders.
Councillors struggled with increasing the number of riders to double what staff had recommended and ultimately opted to go with a maximum of 10.
The committee voted unanimously in favour of the official plan amendment and rezoning bylaw amendment for the track at 2819 Hwy 118 East, between Milne Road and Conway Crescent.
The track is expected to host racing events associated with various associations with racers and their support crews registered with either Canadian Snow Cross Race Association (CRSA), International Series of Champions (ISOC) or Championnat de Snocross (SCMX-Quebec).
The proposal includes one track for supervised training and racing purposes, operating between December and March depending on snowfall pack depth and temperature. Race events would occur on Saturdays, and training and practice sessions would occur on weekends and on one or two weekdays.
No spectators aside from crew and supportive roles for riders are permitted on the site during race events and no plans for public events are proposed at this time.
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