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Thread: Private motocross track (non-commercial recreational use?)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Private motocross track (non-commercial recreational use?)

    We have an applicant that is requesting to go before our Zoning Board for an interpretation of his Motocross track. He is saying that it is a Private Non-commercial Recreational Use which is a special land use in our One Family Residential District (needs Planning Commission Approval).

    Has anyone else had to deal with Motocross Tracks or similar uses? If so, how do you regulate them? Any information would be appreciated.

    They are willing to limit number of drivers and prevent noise issues, but if we say no, I would like a pile of paperwork to back the staff decision.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    You can start with this controversial thread.

    There was a court case up here in Canada on the subject that was covered in our recent planning law journal. I can go back and look for it if you think it would help. It basically stated that the noise from a track during daylight hours, when only occurring a few times a month, was within the allowed use in a country residential setting.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    [QUOTE

    Has anyone else had to deal with Motocross Tracks or similar uses? If so, how do you regulate them? Any information would be appreciated.

    They are willing to limit number of drivers and prevent noise issues, but if we say no, I would like a pile of paperwork to back the staff decision.[/QUOTE]

    I will second this request for infomation! I just had a call this week regarding nuissance from an pre-existing Motorcross Track. The property is located in an agricultural zoning district. Unfortunately, the track is private and the owners never charge for money when they invite neighbors over to ride. Therefore, the county isn't interested in resolving the issue. The facility kicks up a great deal of dust and is located on a small 2 acres parcel. This has become a huge nuissance to several neighboring property owners who constantly have their animals frightened and have to leave their windows closed during the summer to cut down on dust. Does anyone restrict these motorcross tracks to parcels of a specified size?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  4. #4
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    sorry for the off-topic post

    Off-topic:
    It is so great () to live in the country. So much peace and quiet. And I don't ahve to deal with pesky "rules".

    Good luck to you guys on this issue. I'm glad I am "urban".
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite View post
    You can start with this controversial thread.

    There was a court case up here in Canada on the subject that was covered in our recent planning law journal. I can go back and look for it if you think it would help. It basically stated that the noise from a track during daylight hours, when only occurring a few times a month, was within the allowed use in a country residential setting.
    I would also like this information if possible. We are going through the same problem right now with a dirt bike track in a residential neighborhood and would like to find out what others have done in this situation.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally posted by jringel View post
    This has become a huge nuissance to several neighboring property owners who constantly have their animals frightened and have to leave their windows closed during the summer to cut down on dust.
    Then hire a lawyer and file a nuisance suit.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I've dealt with this twice in 2 years. Most codes I deal with do not regulate the non-commercial recreational use of ATVs and bikes.

    However, they do regulate "earth altering activity". So, if the applicant is making jumps and berms, we get them by Conditonal Use and tie the hours of operation and # of vehicles operating at any one time.

  8. #8
    My city requires that you get a conditional use permit before establishing a private motorcycle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle track or usage area, excluding the use of an all-terrain vehicle for landscaping, yard maintenance and/or gardening. It is a cumbersome process that was forced on us by the City Council after a neighborhood dispute over two kids on dirt bikes annoyed their neighbors (at the encouragement of their father who enjoyed annoying the neighbors).

    The use is an incidental accessory use to a permitted use in the district. The area has to be at least 75' from the property line and 100' from a neighboring residential structure, it must be in the rear yard and be screed by a 6' opaque fence or landscape buffer. The area is subject to the city's noise ordinance (max of 55 db during the day)

    It took the city two tries to adopt something that was deemed workable. The first ordinance amendment banned motorcycles from all unpaved surfaces including alleys and gravel streets. It was immediately rescinded and replaced with the "new and improved' version. No one has ever asked for a permit for a track and no one has ever complained about kids on dirt bikes since.

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