Photo Credit: NCM Motorsports Park
The drama between the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park and its Clark Circle neighbors reached a new peak Thursday when the park was issued a $100 fine by Warren County’s code enforcement officer for creating too much noise.
The motorsports park has been the target of nearby residents who have been complaining for months about what they term excessive noise levels created by cars racing around the track there.
The legal saga began on June 29 when the park received a notice of violation calling for all activities at the park to cease because of noncompliance of the original agreement approved by the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County in February 2014.
That notice of violation was issued because planning commission officials say the park didn’t live up to its original agreement (with stipulations called binding elements) requiring structures to be built for noise abatement prior to the opening of the track. For months at several public meetings, residents have been complaining about the noise levels coming from the park.
In a letter dated July 29 from the NCM to the planning commission, the museum explained the steps it plans to take to help cut noise coming from the park. Since the June 29 notice of violation, the park has continue to hold several events, however, with NCM officials saying that the park is contractually obligated to do so for its clients.
With the issuance of the $100 fine this week, the museum has seven days to request a hearing with the county Code Enforcement Board, according to Steve Hunter, executive director of the planning commission. He expects the matter to go before the Code Enforcement Board at its Sept. 9 meeting.
The Bowling Green Daily News asked Hunter Thursday evening why the fine was issued that morning. “Enough is enough,” Hunter said. “We could have issued the fine in the 25th hour, but we have been trying to work with them.”
NCM attorney Charles E. “Buzz” English Jr., said the park was surprised by the fine, noting that his client has not decided if it will pay the $100. The fine was issued to Wendell Strode, executive director of the museum, who earlier said that the NCM is working to come up with a solution to the noise problem.
“Our emphasis is to be a good neighbor,” English said. “We are doing everything we can to mitigate the noise.”
According to English, construction consultants hired by the park met with county officials this week to discuss a possible structure at the property line of the park and Clark Circle residents that would apparently reduce noise levels in the neighborhood.
“We plan to build a berm,” English said. “When we do build something, it will be designed by acoustical engineers and it will have a positive effect.”
Chris Davenport, an attorney representing several property owners in the neighborhood, said the action this week by the planning commission gives his clients hope that the noise matter will eventually be settled.
“The ball is back in the park’s court,” he said. “My clients have exhibited great patience to this point.”
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