|06-17-2012, 03:50 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2010
Speedworld in Wittmann must close, Maricopa County says Read more: azcentral.com
Speedworld in Wittmann must close, Maricopa County says
he saga of Speedworld's dispute with Maricopa County has all the twists and turns of a motocross track.
But county officials have had enough. They say Speedworld owner Dan Matthews has not secured the proper permits, and they have asked him to close the northwest Valley track by Friday.
Speedworld is a 320-acre racing property off U.S. 60 and Jomax Road in Wittmann. The track started as a drag strip and slot- and sports-car course in 1961. Today, it also includes a motocross course, off-road truck course and paintball range.
The site is well-known in the racing community and each year holds nationally televised motocross and off-road truck events.
The problems with the county arose in 2006 when Matthews applied for a permit to run electrical lines to the property. He was told that Speedworld had grown beyond its original special-use permit by 261/2 acres and that, because of the growth, he would have to file for a new permit that would incorporate the additional land.
The county also informed Matthews that the original 1961 case file was missing and the plan that Matthews submitted in 2006 would be the one on record.
Four years later, the county claimed it had documented unapproved construction in April 2009, in addition to the continued use of the disputed land, according to a 2010 letter sent to Matthews.
Then, last year, the county found the 1961 site plan. In a Dec. 21, 2011, letter to Matthews, the county said the 2006 approval was based on the assumption that Speedworld had developed according to the original plan. Because this was not the case, approval was rescinded.
The letter also said Matthews had continued to develop the site without obtaining construction permits.
Earlier this month, the county issued a compliance offer, valid through today, to rectify all the issues. The agreement gives Speedworld a year to secure proper permits for construction and grading.
The offer includes a stipulation that Speedworld must close down while it obtains the permits. Matthews says that is a deal breaker.
"I will not make any moves that will voluntary shut down the business," he said.
Matthews said he has done no construction on the site and has only opened areas previously used by former lessees. All the buildings on the property are portable sheds, and any grading he's done is to maintain the dirt courses and roads, he said.
"If every time I have to move dirt I had to get a permit, I couldn't run my business," he said.
Matthews said he's more than willing to work with the county, but there has to be a way to both stay open and comply.
"I don't know why it's escalating to the point where they say the business has to shut down," he said.
Matthews said closing Speedworld would be bad for the surrounding community. The racetrack brings in roughly $1 million a year, and event visitors are a boon to the restaurants and hotels in nearby Surprise and Wittmann, Matthews said.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...#ixzz1y1xiQgfj
Seems like California is creeping in to AZ. This is a bad thing for everyone with cars, trucks and motorcycles. We all need to stand up and protect our tracks.. Please pass this around.
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