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Go-kart track concerns neighbors

January 27, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Several people who live near a farm where a Bunker Hill, W.Va., man plans to build a go-kart track expressed concerns over the project on Thursday.

Eula Walters told the Berkeley County Commission that the track could increase noise and traffic in the area and could pose environmental problems for a semi-active stream that runs through the property.

But the commissioners told the residents that the county has little authority to stop the proposal as long as it meets requirements mandated the Berkeley County Planning Commission.

Commissioner John E. Wright suggested the residents hire a lawyer.

"Your concerns are on the record. There's nothing that we can do at this point," said Robert L. Burkhart.

Mickey Ritter plans to build Mountaineer Raceway off of Tablers Station Road, about 2 1/2 miles south of Martinsburg. He said the track, which would be open two nights a week, would provide family entertainment and give young people a positive weekend activity.

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To residents concerned about their property values, Ritter said he would pay the bulk of the cost of paving a dirt road leading into the property - a move that would increase property values.

"We'd like to get with all the homeowners," he said. "We're willing to help in any way we can."

But Walters said she remained worried.

"We don't want to sacrifice all our concerns just so we get a hard-surface road," she said.

Resident John Orem said he is concerned about possible future uses of the property.

"The next thing you know, you got tractor pulls, you have stadiums, you have overnight camping," he said. "There's not guarantee what will go in there and what won't."

Ritter said he has no immediate plans for anything other than a go-kart track. And he said he plans to build a house for his family on the 46-acre property.

"We want to live back there," he said.

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