Neighbors continue to oppose speedway, green light for children's home

At least one neighbor of Carson Tahoe Champion Speedway has asked that no racing be allowed at the track until a determination is made on what uses are permitted.

But Carson City planning commissioners agreed Wednesday to allow another month for track operators to attempt to calm the contention between the speedway and its neighbors while determining what uses at the track have been historically permitted.

Deputy District Attorney Neil Rombardo said city officials have told track operators what they can and can't do at the track while the issue is being ironed out.

Track lessee Jim Bawden detailed in a letter to the Community Development Department specific operations plans for the track this year, but speedway neighbors and city staff hadn't had time to review it.

Also, Rombardo agreed with resident Rose Dieter that if there was a break in title for the race track, as she contends, it could create a problem for the track's current operators.

Most residents believe the speedway's motocross events aren't allowed under the track's grandfathered status. Speedway events that have occurred since the track was started in 1963 are allowed to continue in what has become a residential neighborhood over the last six years.

Track representative Glen Martel acknowledged some frustration over the issue and said there has been a "failure to communicate."

"I think this process has just taken a little too long and maybe there was a failure on our part to indicate we were looking for feedback," he said.

Speedway neighbors asked for clarity and proof to the track's operation.

Track neighbor Dave Dieter said during the nine months of track operation "we can't enjoy our domain." He complained while racing stops around 11:30 p.m., late night parties last until up to 4:30 a.m., and the Carson City Sheriff's Department will do nothing about it.

"So basically what we're looking at is the majority of a seven-day week with objectionable noise," Dieter said. "It's absolutely too much You people have to understand the noise level that emanates from this facility is absolutely overwhelming."

Tim Seward, counsel for the Washoe Tribe, said tribal leaders are concerned about the track's impact on Clear Creek, as well as the effect to housing planned on tribal land near the track.

The issue will resurface at the Feb. 27 planning commission meeting.

-- In other action, planning commissioners approved a permit for the expansion of the Eagle Valley Children's Home that will allow a roughly 17,000-square-foot expansion.

Plans call for new residential, office, activity and storage space. Ultimately, home board members hope to add 16 more spaces to the institution that has offered a home-like atmosphere and quality care for profoundly retarded and developmentally disabled children, teens and adults since 1946.

"It's very important to our future," said Art Hannifan, president of the Children's Home board of directors. "If you've read the material and (recent) articles, I'm sure you'd be able to see that, too."

Construction is expected to start on the project late this spring and take 18 months to complete.

"I would just like to commend you for what you're doing up there at the Children's Home," Commissioner William Mally said. "It's very worthwhile.

-- Commissioners also approved changes to the city's public zoning designations. However, state land was left unchanged to give city and state leaders time to make sure changes were appropriate with state land use.

The changes further delineate what purposes are allowed on public land, which was split into public regional, public neighborhood and public community zones.

While the former public zone allowed as a conditional use a military facility on any public land, the new rules would allow that facility only in the public regional zone, a designation for government land with varied uses. Public parks would be allowed in the other two designations.


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