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Racetrack Supporters, Opponents Speak During Public Comment at Council Meeting

The packed Boone Town Council Chambers featured more supporters for the Mountain View Speedway than those in opposition.
The packed Boone Town Council Chambers featured more supporters for the Mountain View Speedway than those in opposition.

By Jesse Wood

An opponent of the Mountain View Speedway who asked to be on Thursday night’s Boone Town Council agenda in hopes of shutting down the racetrack decided not to present her case before the board on Thursday.

After listening to almost three times as many supporters of the track speak during public comment, Annette Reeves, a resident in the Locust Hill area of the town’s ETJ, asked to postpone her presentation to the council, apparently to rally the troops.

“I think there are many families that want to be represented,” Reeves said, as she asked for a postponement of her request.

She is seeking a “total shutdown” of the Mountain View Speedway because it “clashes with the residential/agricultural nature of the area and negatively impacts our quality of life,” according to her petition submitted to the Boone Town Council.

Several individual homeowners, with a few speaking on behalf of dozens in their subdivision’s property owner’s associations (POA), spoke about the loud noise that emanates from the Mountain View Speedway primarily on Saturdays during the summer and fall.

“The noise rises up out of the valley like an amphitheater,” Steven Taylor, a homeowner in the Hidden Hills subdivision and board president of its POA, said. “It’s truly the loudest thing heard coming from the fairgrounds.”

Those against the speedway mentioned the “reckless” driving after the event is over, environmental impacts and the length of the noise that, they say, ruin their beautiful weekends in the High Country.

Photo from Mountain View Speedway Facebook page.
Photo from Mountain View Speedway Facebook page.

While homeowners nearby say that races are going on for pretty much the whole day on Saturday and sometimes practice runs during the week, track promoter Mike Budka, who presented a petition with 1,400 racetrack supporters, disagreed and said that cars are running for less than four to five hours a week.

The High Country Fairground hosts many events and Mayor Andy Ball said that the use of a racetrack at the High Country Fairgrounds is a grandfathered-in use for that property.

The noise for this use is allowed until 11 p.m., and the races generally end by 10:30. The reason this issue is coming up now is because the racetrack was shutdown for 17 years and just re-opened this past year.

Those who support the racetrack talked about the family-friendly, alcohol-friendly atmosphere that exists at the Mountain View Speedway. They talked about the charities and nonprofits and other organizations doing good work in the community that are supported by the racetrack’s events. Supporters also talked about their love of racing, which has flowed through some of these families for generations.

Steve Parker, who is from West Jefferson and used to race at the track years ago, suggested that a compromise could be reached, one that might make everyone content.

Parker suggested all the cars be required to have special mufflers. While mentioning that this won’t totally muffle all of the sounds coming from the racetrack, he said that it would certainly quiet the cars down a bit.

The council is expected to hear back from these stakeholders again in the near future when Reeves is put back on the agenda.

When that does happen, the racetrack supporters noted they would be back, too.

“We want to thank everyone who came out tonight and made the voice of the race track loud and clear. The neighbors decided to table their complaint until next months meeting so they can try and gain more support. We will do the same,” The Mountain View Speedway posted on its Facebook page.

See prior article for some more info.