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Rockyview Motorsports Park one step closer to completion

By: Kristen Spruit

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 10:33 am

A rendering of the Rockyview Motorsports Park proposed for a location northeast of Airdrie.
A rendering of the Rockyview Motorsports Park proposed for a location northeast of Airdrie.
Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

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Car enthusiasts will be pleased to know that a racing venue could be operational in the area within the next five years.

Developers of the Rockyview Motorsports Park (RMP) announced at the Rocky View County (RVC) Policy and Priorities Committee meeting on March 4 the proposed location for its $70-million driver course and training facility will be half-a-mile northeast of Airdrie.

The 640-acre piece of land owned by RMP is north of Township Road 274 and east of Range Road 290.

“This is a perfect location given the proximity to an urban centre, the topography of the land, which allows for a track design that is both environmentally sensitive and driver friendly, and finally the fact there are very few residents around the proposed facility who will be directly impacted,” stated RMP President and CEO Dominic Young.

The developers were before committee members to provide an update on the project since having announced its conception in 2012. Ken Venner, planner with Brown & Associates Planning Group working with RMP, said a Master Site Development Plan (MSDP) and Land Use Amendment application is expected to be submitted to the County in March, with public hearings to follow later this year.

“Hopefully we’ll be turning the first shovel by the spring of 2015,” said Venner, adding that’s if MSDP, land-use approval and development permits go in RMP’s favour.

The project will include a five-kilometre European-style road course, indoor and outdoor kart facility, a Driving Safety Centre, auto-oriented services, car condos (bareland units), a community recreation area, a Calgary Police Service (CPS) handling course and municipal training grid, and an enhanced wetland conservation area to be used by Olds College.

“We are looking at these partnerships and synergies that we think add value to the project and make it more than just a driver track or a racetrack facility,” said Venner. He said the driving course and CPS training space will be built first, and is expected to be completed within the next five years.

In addition to meeting a void in the racing industry since the closure of Race City in Calgary in 2011, Venner said the facility will also be a contributor to RVC.

He said at full build-out, RMP is expected to generate $500,000 annually in municipal taxes and create 100 jobs. The project will also be a limited servicing cost to the County as the majority of supporting infrastructure is planned to be built and maintained by the developer, added Venner.

“And importantly, it will provide a regional tourism destination,” he said, adding more details about meeting the County’s policy requirements will be discussed at the application stage.

Young said that although operational technicalities of the facility have not yet been set in stone, RMP is proposing to be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with summer months and evenings and weekends expected to be the busiest time. He said the developers are not proposing to light the facility, and will rely on daylight for hours of operation.

Councillor Al Sacuta said information he’ll be looking for during the application process will include: what the neighbours think of the project and how they were engaged, what the air and water quality data and forecasts for the site are, what the ambient noise projections surrounding the site are expected to be, and a fiscal impact analysis detailing the net benefit to RVC.

Councillor Lois Habberfield said she will also be interested to hear what the developers are proposing for safety and security measures around the site, as well as what is being proposed to provide additional policing to the area.

Reeve Margaret Bahcheli said she thought “the project is trending in the right direction.”

“I’m really excited that we’re not just talking a local facility, but that it’s regional in nature and almost provincial, and it could even be beyond that. I just see a lot of pluses right now,” said Bahcheli, adding she thinks the developers did a “good job” at selecting the location for this proposed facility.

For more information about RMP, visit www.rockyviewmotorsports.com


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