Speedway stays open despite pressure from town

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Sammy Hanf

Despite being issued a cease and desist letter by the Town of Boone, Mountain View Speedway still held its regularly scheduled races last Saturday.

The cease and desist letter was issued on April 11, stating that the speedway was an unlawful use under the town’s unified development ordinance.

“Prior to the re-opening of the speedway last year, the race track had not been used for motor vehicle racing for approximately 17 years,” town attorny Allison Meade wrote. “Accordingly, operations of the speedway is not a legally nonconforming (i.e., “grandfathered” use) and instead constitutes a new use under the town’s unified development ordinance. Pursuant to the UDE a new use of land requires that the applicant apply for and be issued a valid zoning permit. The Town of Boone has not issued any permit approving the race track for racing; nor has it issued a certificate of zoning compliance allowing such use to commence.”

Meade warned that failure to comply would result in the town issuing a notice of violation, which would cost the racetrack $100 a day in civil fines for remaining open.

The town issued a notice of violation to Mountain View Speedway last week.

Nathan Miller, attorney for Mountain View Speedway, said his client will be appealing the notice and that he is confident it will come out in their favor.

The dirt track received complaints from nearby residents after re-opening in April 2015.

The citizens’ group, Watauga Citizens for Local Control, a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, appealed to the town on their behalf.

The appeal was dismissed on April 18, after Boone Planning & Inspections director Bill Bailey testified March 23 that his informal guidance on the legality of the track was made in error.

The Boone Board of Adjustment voted 6-1 to dismiss.

Miller said his clients relied in good faith on Bailey’s guidance.

Mountain View Speedway’s Facebook page indicated that they are planning to go through with events scheduled for April 30.

Story by: Sammy Hanf, Senior News Reporter