FORT ANN — The road to a motocross track on Route 149 got a little longer and a little bumpier Monday night.
After more than 20 people spoke during a two-hour public hearing, Planning Board Chairman Donald Bedeaux tabled the hearing on Jeremy Treadway’s proposal to build a 4,300-foot-long motocross track on a 106-acre site at the Country Meadows Golf Course.
But before ending Monday’s meeting, which drew more than 200 people to Fort Ann Central School, Bedeaux gave Treadway and his attorney, Jon Lapper, a list of requests to be completed before the public hearing resumes at 7 p.m., July 25.
For that meeting, the following processes must be completed:
Town engineer Tom Jarrett will review the site for storm water and parking issues.
The Planning Board will receive the long-form State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR), rather than the short-form version.
The board will receive a traffic report from the Department of Transportation.
The board will receive a report from the Department of Environmental Conservation examining environmental issues and a possible endangered species issue.
All this comes after Treadway, who owns a motorsports shop in Ticonderoga and has the golf course under contract, provided additional noise and traffic reports to the board as requested at the last meeting. Treadway’s planners also added an earthen berm near the track that would cut down the noise.
“We did not anticipate that this would be very controversial, but obviously we were wrong,” Lapper said at the beginning of the hearing. We believe the people who are so concerned are wrong.”
Later in the meeting, Lapper made the point that while there are houses in the area, “This isn’t a residential neighborhood. It’s a mixed neighborhood.”
As happened at the Town Board meeting two weeks ago, there were passionate speakers on both sides of the issue.
While those opposing the track, including neighbor Dan Monahan, who has been at the forefront of the movement to keep the track from being built at the golf course, pointed out it would be a new use that would add a great deal of noise, others did not see it that way.
“You’re already got a sand pit right down there, and I can tell you I can hear those trucks in the morning,” said Don Schuster, who has spoken at both meetings. “You’ve got an airport right there, and there’s a waste transfer station. Plus Route 149 is a major road.”
Schuster said Treadway has been following the rules and should be granted his request. “The guy is doing it right,” Schuster said. “This is a young guy trying to bring more business to a town that needs more business. We should welcome the guy, welcome the business and welcome the taxes.” Monahan, who presented the board a petition which had 275 signatures opposing the track at that site, said there is already a functioning business at the site. “They are already paying taxes, and there is a restaurant there already,” he said. Monahan reminded the board members they are representative of residents of the entire town. “This is going to be a noise issue,” Monahan said. “There will be nuisance noise. There is no doubt about it. If you worked your whole life so you could buy your biggest asset, your house, you would say ‘I don’t want this next to it.’ “ Treadway, who plans to live in a house at the site if he is successful in his bid to build the track, said he had tried to be open and above-board throughout the process. “We have gone through the proper steps, and I have made sure people know I am always available,” Treadway said. “If people have issues in the future, I would hope they would come down and we could have a coffee or a beer and solve the issue.” He also responded to several other issues that came up during the discussion. “The track will meet all safety criteria from the American Motorcycle Association, and as far as dust goes, we have a full irrigation system,” he said. “I don’t want dust in my house or my restaurant. “As far as the noise goes, people are remembering the old days, when they raced two-stroke engines. Now, 80 percent of the bikes have four-stroke engines. It is not nearly as loud,” he added, before addressing the house-value issue. Before the public hearing is resumed, the Town Board will hold a workshop on a proposed noise ordinance at 6 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.