The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Track’s noise request tabled
A proposal to loosen Dominion Raceway’s noise restrictions on weekends has resulted in a closer look at other noise regulations in Spotsylvania County.
That’s partly why the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday tabled a decision to exempt the raceway from noise limitations until 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Ironically, board members wanted to consider stricter noise rules for construction activity and timbering.
They also directed staff to revise the proposed noise ordinance so that only raceway events on Fridays and Saturdays would be exempt until 11 p.m. Sunday events would have to end at 10 p.m., but could last an hour later if they fall before state or federal holidays, according to the proposal.
Supervisor Timothy McLaughlin said he’d heard from residents who were concerned about allowing the raceway to hold events until 11 p.m. on Sundays. Currently, the raceway—like all other commercial establishments that “customarily” emit noise—is exempt until 10 p.m., an hour earlier than the proposed cutoff.
Fredericksburg attorney Charlie Payne, who represents the developer, said raceway officials have no problem with ending events at 10 p.m. on Sundays.
“However, we do need the 11:00 p.m. extension on Friday and Saturday to ensure the success of the project, as most race events end at 11,” he wrote in an email.
Dominion Raceway has promised in writing to end all Monday through Thursday events at 10 p.m., with the exception of two NASCAR-sanctioned races that may last until 11.
Scheduled to open in February 2015, the 160-acre raceway complex will include an oval track for stock car racing, a drag strip, a road course and a go-kart course. It will be right off the Interstate 95 exit in Thornburg.
Just one person spoke during a public hearing on the proposed noise ordinance revision for the raceway.
Several residents who live near the future track formed a coalition against the project, but none of them addressed supervisors at this week’s meeting. They have expressed concern about traffic and noise.
In addition to the raceway discussion, supervisors proposed that construction activity be exempt from noise restrictions from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Currently, the exempt period is 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
“I don’t think 6 a.m. is fair to the public,” Supervisor Gary Skinner said. “I don’t think 10 p.m. is fair to the public.”
County staff had already proposed starting the exempt period two hours later—at 8 a.m.—on Saturdays and Sundays, but that wasn’t enough for Skinner.
In addition, County Attorney James Benkahla said he would ask the state Department of Forestry about the county’s ability to place time restrictions on timbering.
Supervisor David Ross said he received a complaint about someone cutting trees at 6 a.m. That’s way too early “to have a chainsaw going outside your door,” he said.
Supervisors will take up the noise ordinance amendments again in November.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402