By Chris Pickup
Councillors Fred Morison and Tony Dalimonte have both called tor the tightening up of noise bylaws around the ancillary activities at Haldimand County’s motor vehicle racing venues, Toronto Motorsports Park (TMP) dragstrip and Jukasa Motor Speedway.
County staff proposed revisions to the Public Entertainment Event Bylaw and the Noise Bylaw at council committee level Tuesday, because there were some anomalies that needed to be streamlined into a single approach to all special licensed racing events, some four or five a year at each racing venue.
This will not apply to the regular weekly racing programs which are licensed yearly under their own bylaw. No noise restrictions are imposed because of the loud nature of racing, and allows racing at approved locations seven days per week, from 9 am to midnight.
The sole exception is for TMP’s road course which has its own special restrictions emanating from a 2005 OMB decision.
When the old Cayuga Speedway reopened under new ownership as Jukasa Motor Speedway in 2017, they asked council for permission to hold two special events. The licence issued placed a limit of 11:00 pm for the playing of music and racing was approved to 6 pm with a buffer allowance to 11 pm.
Nevertheless there were concerns raised after the September 2017 special event regarding noise/music being played late into the night by participants staying at the campground, which took Jukasa security staff some time to get under control. Jukasa has since said they have strict rules for participants to follow and will ensure they are adhered to in the future.
While reviewing the two bylaws, county staff noted on reflection, the time restrictions imposed on Jukasa were inconsistent with existing bylaws.
Some events on public property regulated through the county’s Special Events Policy have allowed amplified music to play later than 11 pm, e.g. Caledonia Black Top Hop until midnight, Hagersville Rocks until midnight, and Cayuga Fest until 1 am.
The amended Public Entertainment Event Bylaw for motor vehicle racing events prohibits the playing of amplified music prior to 9 am and after midnight. Any other campground noise will be controlled under the noise bylaw.
The OPP have agreed to enforce the bylaws unless there is a major incident elsewhere they have to deal with.
Morison questioned the move to midnight from 11 pm, while Dalimonte felt the county needed to tighten up the noise bylaw.
“I get complaints in my ward (Hagersville) about after hour activities in the campground,” Dalimonte said. “They seem to have problems controlling it. The noise went to 2 or 3 am last year. It’s been a chronic problem.”
“There’s events every weekend with noise going on longer than it should,” he added. “We need to be able to enforce it.”
Karen General reiterated the OPP have agreed to enforce the bylaws. “Call the OPP,” she said.
The bylaws come up for ratification at council Monday.