Selected public comments opposed to proposed drag strip from P&Z hearing Wednesday night
September 22, 2011 - 9:28am — Anonymous
by Carolyn Gerding
At the Planning and Zoning public hearing on Wed., Sept. 21, a crowd of 131 spectators signed in, which does not include members of the Montgomery County Sherif's Department and members of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
There were 21 people who signed up to make a public comment. Nine people spoke against the proposed drag strip and 11 spoke in favor. Attorney Mike Seamands of Lashly and Baer in St. Louis said he was representing eight people who own property in the immediate vicinity, some of whom had already spoken. Public comments were limited to two minutes.
Following are direct quotes from some of the landowners who spoke against the proposed drag strip.
This brought comments of approval and “Amen!” from some of the crowd, prompting Planning and Zoning Adminstrator Donna Viehmann to remind the speakers that comments should be directed to the P&Z Board and cautioning the audience to be quiet.
Kelly continued, “All the people who are involved with this and are trying to build this, they don’t live here. They’re from somewhere else. Why don’t they build it where they live so they have to listen to it day and night? We live in our house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We can’t just go somewhere and get away from their noise. The air pollution from the cars, they can’t say there will be no exhaust fumes, and when we’re on the east, that wind, the air flows from the west to the east, it will be blowing right into our house. So I am definitely against it. They should think about the people who live here before they just come and decide they’re going to because they have the money to do it.”
Donna Francis: “My husband and I are landowners in Montgomery County. We’ve been camping, hunting, and fishing here since 1989 with our fellow landowners … Our land is the focal point of our activities and we spend three out of four weekends plus year round. The MAR hours of operation are in direct conflict of our existing schedule."
"We’ve planned for years to build a retirement home on our acreage. The MAR Park will impact our right to a livable life in the present and the future. It will provoke a sudden, irreversible change to my family and my fellow landowners. Because we plan to have a well someday, another major concern is our watershed, so there’s concerns on that.
"I also believe that the developers have not done a qualified study on the environmental impact or offered a substantial plan to address damage caused by the drag strip. On the application MAR believes that the properties in the immediate vicinity is all farm land, but that’s not the case.
"They also indicated on the application that racetrack will encourage commercial development of hotels, restaurants, service stations, etc. There was a racetrack on Highway 19 and I see no evidence that the racetrack drew more commercial businesses or contributed substantially to the economic growth of the county.
"The planned construction will disturb the natural land during the excavating and grading process so I’m concerned about polluted storm water runoff which can harm wildlife, damage our spring-fed ponds and streams, devalue our property, and impact our use and overall damage the landscape.
"This conditional use will allow a business to be in operation that will be detrimental to my right to the use and enjoyment of my property in the immediate vicinity.”
Matthew Kelly, who identified himself as a landowner on the east side, said, “It’s going to be a nuisance. We put up with one racetrack, this is going to be a lot more noise. I’m definitely against it.”
Larry Treen : “I own property south of the proposed racetrack but not adjacent to it. I’ve lived here full time for the past 19 years with my family. We’re currently against this because of a few things. Noise, property values, what it may or may not do to the environment.
"So far those that have been for it with the possible exception of Mr. Moss seem to be outside of Montgomery County. Those against it actually live here and own property here. My wife works on the weekends and she has to be sharp at work. She has to be up at four in the morning. With the noise we experienced from the previous racetrack, it’s difficult to sleep.
"It’s difficult to enjoy your property when you’ve got cards going, and that was just one night on the weekends. Now we’re talking the whole weekend, Wednesdays, other days. It’s very loud, and you can’t sit outside or have your windows open because all you hear is the race track. It really impacts one’s enjoyment of the property…
"I wonder if this noise study that was done 20 feet away from one class of race car at 99 decibels is representative of what we may be hearing if the racetrack grows and you get national events, I would expect you will have more and louder classes of vehicles which will compound the noise problem for those directly around the proposed track and living within earshot.”
Tammy Miller: “We’ve had this property for about 20 years now and we were planning on retiring out there. We deer hunt, we fish, and it’s a quiet, serene place. I don’t mind development of property as long as it’s not an airport or a racetrack or something that’s going to impede the quality of our life. I hope you take this into consideration.
"A lot of people want to come out here and relax and enjoy themselves. The man that enjoys the sound of the racetrack, he should probably move closer to the racetrack… So anyway, we do not agree with this racetrack. There will be pollution, oil, smells from burning tires. I don’t think that we should be subjected to this just because you decide to put in a racetrack.”
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