It may not satisfy everyone but it's a road to compromise, says Mayor Bob Kirk.
Just days out from a decision, Cr Kirk has proposed what he hoped would be a solution to Wakefield Park raceway's continued operation amid landowners' noise complaints.
An extraordinary meeting on Tuesday is expected to draw a large crowd as Goulburn Mulwaree Council decides a development application for the motor racing circuit, 12km southeast of Goulburn.
Owner, the Benalla Auto Group is proposing a new pit lane building with garages, space for corporate functions, race control and commentary boxes, administration and emergency vehicle parking.
It also proposes infrastructure such as a short-term camping area during events and an off-road experience area, and asks for ongoing use as a motor sports facility, the enshrinement of noise limits in line with a January, 2020 noise prevention notice and a new event management plan.
But council planners recommended refusal in a report released last week. They stated that operators had not complied with previous noise limits, had not considered the likely social and amenity impacts, the proposal did not meet the rural zone's objectives and was not in the public interest.
The report also recommended that the 2020 "temporary" noise prevention notice be revoked in order to achieve "compliance" with the circuit's 1993 consent.
The document has generated public debate. Scores of people have called on the council to back Wakefield's continued operation and its economic injection to Goulburn. A chang.org petition had also secured 6792 signatures in support by late Friday.
Mayor Bob Kirk said from the outset he would propose an alternative motion for Tuesday's meeting.
He released this on Friday, saying he hoped it achieved a "middle ground." It allows motor racing and recreational activities to continue, subject to noise management and event planning.
"Basically it's about having a maximum number of different noise level days, locking them in to be displayed on a web page three months in advance and achieving at least one quiet weekend a month and one quiet day each week," the mayor said.
A colour coded system would apply. The 'green category,' for example, allows 162 days where noise can range from 75 to 83 decibels. Under the red category, noise limits of between 85 and 95 decibels would be permitted on 75 days. Amber permits 83 to 85dBA on 50 days while all other days under the 'blue' category would exclude motor sport. Overall, noise must not exceed 95 decibels when measured 30 metres from the track.
Cr Kirk said this would at least allow nearby residents to plan their lives.
Staff would have to be trained in the noise monitoring system. Further, Wakefield Park would have to install and equivalent system on council land at Tirrannaville. This would enable the council to monitor compliance with real-time data.
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The motion also sets out a static noise testing procedure, additional landscaping and a requirement that Wakefield engage with all 'sensitive noise receivers,' not just some.
If limits are not achieved, the council can impose penalties.
Cr Kirk said he used the 2020 noise prevention notice as a basis but also considered residents' comments.
"I hope it conveys all that we want to achieve," he said.
"We have to find a way forward for the community living out there but also (achieve something) that Wakefield Park can live with. Neither may be acceptable but that's the balance we walk.
"The fact is we can't keep all parties completely happy...We have to draw a line in the sand and hopefully move on."
Meantime, the council has reminded people that space is limited for Tuesday night's meeting, which starts at 6pm. The chambers can accommodate a maximum 94 people but a screen will be set up in the foyer for some overflow.
The meeting will also be live-streamed on the council website.
Cr Kirk said 10 people had registered to speak, with a maximum 10 minutes each. He told The Post it was "not a numbers" and he would encourage any other speakers not to cover previously raised points. This was to allow adequate time for councillor debate.
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