Pitt Meadows Airport neighbours call for an end to autocross events
Neighbours of Pitt Meadows airport are asking the city to put a stop to car and motorcycle rallies until the clubs are granted a new permit that puts in place more stringent noise rules.
Held every weekend, the autocross events take place at the airport on a large asphalt skid-pad leased by Driving Unlimited.
Some events are so noisy, Ron Blakely and his wife are unable to sit outdoors or enjoy the view from their deck.
“The sound of tires squealing is extremely distressing,” said Blakely, who lives on Ford Road.
City council issued a two-year temporary commercial permit to airport in 2009 on the condition Driving Unlimited organize a committee to address concerns about noise voiced by nearby residents.
Although the permit expired in July 2011, autocross events have continued.
Blakely and his neighbours have no problem with driver training at the airport, but want the city to properly monitor the autocross events.
“We are not trying to drive them out, we are just trying to make them less objectionable,” said Blakely.
“There’s been words and words back and forth, but there’s has been no correction.”
Julie Paciejewski said appealing to council is their last resort. She doesn’t understand how the autocross events have been allowed to continue without a permit.
If a new permit is issued, the group wants autocross limited to a maximum of eight events per year; have a city monitor attend the events and have the clubs address the issue of squealing tires.
But the airport insists the car clubs, which organize the autocross events, do their best to ensure neighbours are not inconvenienced or disturbed.
“They are very good actually,” said airport manager Glenn Ralph, adding that the clubs measure noise levels and ensure they are complying with city bylaws.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walters voiced the residents’ complaints to the airport society board during a meeting on Monday.
Both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have requested the society amend its bylaws to allow the mayors to sit on the board as voting members.
“When people are complaining about the airport, they come to us,” said Walters.
Council will also send a letter to the airport board requesting that businesses operating at the airport apply for proper licenses to operate.