FORT ERIE The Ontario Municipal Board gave the green light Monday to a proposal to build a $150-million, 65,000-seat auto racing facility in this Niagara border town.

The decision from OMB vice chair Susan de Avellar Schiller ordered the dismissal of appeals against the Canadian Motor Speedway. The ruling did set out a number of restrictions and requirements for the project, including a moratorium on all drag racing, and a limit on the number of weekly races. Most of the restrictions were already laid out and agreed upon with the Citizens Coalition of Fort Erie, following a settlement with the town prior to the OMB hearing in June.

“This will be a world-class facility that will attract visitors from all over North America,” said CMS executive director Azhar Mohammad, in a written statement issued by the Town of Fort Erie. “We are very anxious to begin the next steps in seeing the speedway become a reality.”

Speedway officials say they will try to attract NASCAR and other auto racing events, as well as rock concerts, according to Mohammed.

The one-mile oval speedway near the QEW is proposed to host a bevy of extra facilities such as a motocross and snowmobile speedway located inside the road course and 185 acres for parking and camping.

“This is huge for Fort Erie, the Niagara Region and the province. We’ve always anticipated a positive decision and we are now ready for the hard work ahead to make those wheels start turning,” said acting-CAO Ron Tripp.

Fort Erie News

— With files from Torstar News

Source: The Hamilton Spectator