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Letters to the Editor 4/19

April 19, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/19



Raceway rules remain unsettled



To the editor:

During the past few months, CARE and Summit Point Raceway have been in negotiations regarding noise generated from the raceway and plans for expansion. At this time, negotiations are completed and CARE would like to inform the community of the outcome, and plans for the future.

CARE requested that noise decibel levels be reduced from current 112 (cars) to 140 (explosions) decibels, to 65 decibels. The Raceway agreed to 103 decibels. For comparison, noise around a home is typically 25 decibels. Given the raceway's decrease of decibels, but noting its continued high level, CARE requested the decibel level be reduced from the 103 level over the course of a few years. The raceway said it was unable to lower the levels any further. CARE requested the raceway cease operation 9-12 a.m., Sundays, in order to honor a "gentleman's agreement" the track had with the community of Summit Point at the raceway's inception over 20 years ago - that is, to not operate during Sunday school and church services.

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The Raceway responded that they would "go to lunch" between approximately 11 and 12 on Sunday mornings. The raceway plans to expand, including a third track, a hotel, and a restaurant. CARE and the raceway mutually agreed to not sign a land covenant as had first been proposed, and the raceway stated it would implement the 103 decibel restriction voluntarily this season, implemented over a non-specific period of time.

Negotiations with the raceway took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and amicability, by all accounts. Both CARE and the raceway expressed mutual thanks for the opportunity to talk face-to-face.

The outcome of the negotiations, however, fell considerably short of original CARE proposals, especially regarding noise levels, which were thoroughly researched by CARE in advance of the negotiations. Therefore, members of CARE and many other community members who call CARE for information and feedback, will continue to press the planning and county commissions for more reasonable noise reductions and limits on expansion, given the impact a third track would have with the high 103 noise level. CARE simply requests manufacturer's mufflers (mufflers whose effectiveness would allow the cars to be driven legally on our city streets) be required for all cars that use the raceway, not just those that voluntarily do so, as is the case at this time.

At this time, the planning commission has appointed a committee to provide a recommendation to the planning commission by May 1 that considers the concerns of both the community and the raceway.

CARE would like to like to thank the support of many in the community over the past few months for comments, suggestions, concerns and time put forth for research and negotiations. CARE will proceed with efforts to inform the community and commissions of the effects of the raceway on the small and larger communities in Jefferson County.

David Turley

CARE Coordinator

Charles Town, W.Va.

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