Atlanta Motorsports Park Withdraws Zoning Request

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Atlanta Motorsports Park has withdrawn its request to modify existing zoning stipulations at the facility, blaming a “last-minute snafu” by city officials. But the issue is almost certain to resurface again in six months.

George Butler, the attorney for AMP, notified City Planning and Zoning Director Cathy Majewski in an email last Friday that the track is withdrawing its request for now.

Butler said City Attorney Dana Miles contacted him three days after the last public hearing on March 18 and asked him if AMP would be willing to withdraw the residential components (mini-cabins and garage condos) from the request.

In his email, Butler wrote: “ As you know, ZA -89 went before the Mayor and City Council with a Recommendation for Approval from the Planning Commission at its March 13, 2017 meeting which included a recommendation for expanding allowable uses of the CIR property (as requested by AMP) to include both “garage condos” and “mini cabins.”

… “So you can imagine my surprise when Dana Miles contacted me three days after the last public hearing and brought up, for the first time in the entire four-month process (which began January 17) the question of whether my client would be willing to withdraw those critical “residential components” from the pending ZA-89 on the basis the entire ZA-89 was improperly advertised since the CIR zoning classification in the City of Dawsonville does not support residential uses.

…”AMP has decided not only to withdraw the residential component of ZA-89 at the City’s invitation but also to withdraw ZA-89 in toto and it hereby does so with the full understanding that this withdrawal may prejudice its rights to re-apply for any zoning change for a period of 6 months and result in the forfeiture of its application fees. Unfortunately the impact of our residential component to AMPs vision for the future and the seriousness of this last-minute snafu leave my client little choice.”

Council was expected to vote on the request at Monday’s meeting.

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City Council Won’t Decide on AMP until June

Business

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A standing-room-only audience packed Dawsonville City Hall Monday in hopes that — after six months — city council could finally make a decision on the sound, lighting and operating hours variances requested by Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP). But, after a one-hour public hearing, supporters and opponents left disappointed as council members chose to punt. A decision is not likely until June 5.

Some progress was made, however. Owner Jeremy Porter made several significant concessions to area residents who oppose the variances and the city did conduct a sound study.

Sound engineer Tom Trask presented his findings prior to the start of the public hearing. He said the study showed the track did not exceed the city’s imposed 69 dBa (the terminology refers to a weighted decibel limit on average for a-16 hour period). But it was unclear why the four sound monitors were not placed at the track, but instead were placed at four area residences.

Attorney George Butler argued on behalf of AMP owner Jeremy Porter.

Both sides were given 30 minutes to present their case. George Butler, a highly-animated Dahlonega attorney, took the full 30 minutes to argue on behalf of the owner.

Butler began by withdrawing AMP’s request for unlimited noise on 15 days each year. Now, the track is asking for unlimited noise only on the 4th of July.

Butler pointed out that the county’s Planning Commission had recommended a 98 dBa public address system limit at trackside but the owner is only asking for 80 dBa at 50 feet from the edge of the track.

AMP’s current operating hours are from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Nov. 1 through March 31 and 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. (or one hour after sunset) from April 1 through Oct. 31. Porter would like to have the hours extended between March 15 and Nov. 15 to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Retained in the proposal unveiled Monday was the request to build condos or micro-cabins on the property.

Several area residents spoke in opposition to the variations, most complaining about the noise and potential loss of property value. One man said regardless of the sound study, the noise is disruptive from as far away as a mile.


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