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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Conditions considered for race track

Monday, September 8, 2003

The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors has not set a public hearing date on rezoning an area where a race track is planned, waiting to discuss the possibility of setting conditions for the race track before a vote on rezoning.

The Cherokee County Planning and Zoning Commission has voted to recommend rezoning an area north of Cherokee from agricultural to light industrial, to accommodate a plan of Little Sioux Raceway, Inc., to build a race track there.

The rezoning still has to have approval from the supervisors for it to be in place and the vote must take place following a public hearing conducted by the supervisors.

Larry Clark, zoning administrator and county engineer, was present at the supervisor meeting and pointed out a section of the Iowa Code which states "a board of supervisors may impose conditions on a property owner which are in addition to existing regulations if the additional conditions have been agreed to in writing by the property owner before the public hearing required under this section."

Clark said that without such an agreement, there would be no restrictions on the property use as far as noise abatement or traffic control.

"I don't think that would be in the best public interest," Clark said.

Prior to the request for rezoning, Barry Johnson, president of Little Sioux Raceway, had attempted to get a conditional use permit which would have allowed use of the property for a race track without the need to rezone. A 3 to 2 vote by the Cherokee County Board of Adjustment in Johnson's favor was later overturned in district court because the judge decided that the board of adjustment had violated procedural requirements.

Although the judge's decision left open the possibility of refiling for a conditional use permit, Johnson decided to seek rezoning instead.

The recent vote by the planning and zoning commission was also three to two in Johnson's favor.

On Tuesday, Clark presented the original recommended conditions which the board of adjustment had agreed to for the conditional use permit. Clark suggested that these conditions be considered by the supervisors in a proposed agreement prior to a vote on rezoning.

Areas addressed as conditions in the document include construction, parking, noise control, access, dust control, lighting and water run-off.

Use would be restricted to between April 1 and Oct. 31, with no more than two events per week taking place between noon and midnight.

An exception to the two event per week rule would occur when an event was postponed because of inclement weather.

The matter will be discussed at the Sept. 16 supervisors meeting, pending availability of John Wibe, the assistant county attorney.

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