Go-cart and mixed martial arts centre squeaks through with Terrace, B.C. council approval

Temporary use permit will allow local man to try out his fitness and go-cart facility for two years as neighbours fear worst

Against the protestation of several neighbours and two city councilors who disapproved, a local mixed martial arts trainer was successful in getting a temporary permit to start what he calls “The Clubhouse” – a building where people can do tire flip training, cage fight, and in which he wants to put a go-cart course.

Local coach and fight promoter Tony Rutledge submitted the proposal for the mixed martial arts and fitness centre and go-cart recreation facility on behalf of Norlakes Construction who owns the building he’ll be operating out of over a month ago.

The 6,000 square foot mustard coloured-building is located at 5011 Park Ave. near the corner with Pheasant St. leading toward the back entrance to Canadian Tire. It is zoned commercial and is right across from a residential area.

It was the tire flipping exercises that caused neighbours to question the development, with two coming to council last night saying they heard a continual thudding noise that didn’t bode well.

Rutledge was fined by the city last month for starting to use the building before acquiring a proper permit, and councilor James Cordeiro said this did not help his case in applying for the temporary use permit.

Councillor Brian Downie said that a new recreation centre deserved a shot, but told Rutledge that “the onus is on you, it’s not for the neighbourhood to accommodate you.”

The temporary use permit to expire after two years, as opposed to the usual three, and when it does, Norlakes Construction and/or Rutledge will have to apply for a site specific zoning amendment if they want to continue operating there.

The temporary permit contains rules around following the noise bylaw as well as hours of operation and specific rules about the go-carts, such as only six allowed operating at one time.

“Is there something you can do to take the sting out of the sound,” said one neighbour who was there to complain about the noise of the tire flipping exercises and express concern about future noise from the expanded facility.

Rutledge told him that keeping the doors closed, which is also a stipulation of the permit, will prevent the problem. Though he admitted that ventilation is an issue in the building he hopes the owner will address.

Another neighbour said she heard noise coming through even the closed doors.

As for the planned indoor go-cart track that will surround the wire fighting cage, he said it would be completely silent “except for the squeak of tires.”

“The little kid in me really wants to support this,” said councilor Stacey Tyers, who in the end voted against granting the temporary use permit along with councilor Lynne Christiansen.

Tyers said she would want to know the extent of the noise and the impact on neighbours before agreeing to the permit.

The vote went four to two in favour of granting the temporary use permit, with councillor Michael Prevost, Brian Downie, Sean Bujtas, and James Cordeiro in favour along with mayor Carol Leclerc.