A permit that was issued in error and complaints from one nearby resident could end up costing a Valley East man his motocross business.
Serge Solomon, owner and operator of Valley East Motocross Park in Hanmer, was informed by the city last month that it intends to revoke his business license because the land isn’t zoned properly. He received his license last August, and it was originally to expire this December.
The case will go before city council’s Hearing Committee on May 23, where councillors will decide whether to follow a staff recommendation to pull the motocross park’s operating permit.
“The application was made complete with approvals from Greater Sudbury Fire Services, the Health Unit and a clear criminal record check of the applicant from Greater Sudbury Police Services,” says a staff report. “At the time of reviewing the application, a determination had been made through the process of confirming zoning compliance that the property had been granted legal non-conforming status for the use of motocross racing.”
However, acting on several noise complaints from one resident in the area, a bylaw officer contacted the planning department to check on the area’s zoning. The park is located on Gravel Drive.
“It was determined at this time that the legal non-conforming status to permit motocross racing on this property was not confirmed by the Manager of Development Approvals, but to the contrary, motocross racing is not a permitted use for the property,” the staff report reads. “On April 23, 2012, the Issuer of Licenses sent notice to Serge Solomon advising him that the business license that was issued to him to operate Valley East Motocross Park on Aug. 10, 2011, was revoked because it issued in error for the reasons that the use of a motocross park at this address is in violation of the City’s zoning by-law.”
A day later, Solomon informed the city in a letter that he wanted to appeal the decision to the hearing committee.
According to its website, TheVemp.com, the motocross park is located on 35 acres containing three motocross tracks. It’s open Wednesday evenings and on Saturday afternoons. In addition to motocross practises on the site, the park hosts larger racing events, such as the race held on Aug. 28, 2011, which drew between 100-300 people and was sanctioned by the Canadian Motosport Racing Corp.
Also on the May 23 agenda is an appeal from the owner of an unoccupied house on Elm Street in Sudbury. The city is ordering the property owner to fix up the house to a minimum standard. The house, which was built around 1920, is owned by the estate of Minnie Lee, which is administered by her son, Peter Lee, who lives in North Bay.
Acting on a complaint that pigeons were living in the home’s attic, a bylaw officer inspected the property in April and found several serious structural issues.
“During the inspection … he observed holes and openings in the roof leading into the attic,” the staff report reads. “He observed pigeons entering and exiting from the holes and openings in question. He observed that the shingles on the roof were in an advanced state of deterioration. He also observed that the roof of the front porch was also in a state of decay and bowed in the centre.”
But in a letter to the city, Lee argued that despite the fact the home is an obvious “eyesore,” it is structurally sound and is for sale “as is.” He also offers a long list of steps he has taken to prevent homeless people from living there, as well as all the material he has hauled out of the property to make it safer, including hazardous waste, oil and paint. In all, nine NIM bins of material have been removed from the house, Lee writes.
“The estate has been diligently trying to recycle and clean, at the same time as adhere to” city orders to maintain a minimum state of repair, Lee writes.
A contractor he hired found the structure is sound, he argues.
“It is an eyesore, but your order does not address that issue,” he writes.
The Hearing Committee meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. May 23.
Posted by Darren MacDonald