Appeal board applies brakes to racing hours at Alix

A motocross track near Alix has been ordered to trim its weekend hours by a Lacombe County subdivision and development appeal board following an emotional hearing earlier in the week.

A motocross track near Alix has been ordered to trim its weekend hours by a Lacombe County subdivision and development appeal board following an emotional hearing earlier in the week.

Xtreme Raceways had been granted longer operating hours and more weekend race days by the county’s municipal planning commission in March, despite opposition from some area residents.

The motocross track has been criticized for being noisy and dusty and a neighbourhood nuisance.

But track users have defended the track as a well-run facility that caters to families and whose operators, Greg and Michelle Martens, have bent over backwards to address local concerns. The issue came before the commission because the previous operating permit had expired.

Lacombe County’s council chambers was packed with about 100 people Wednesday for the appeal hearing, which began at 10 a.m. and did not finish until 5:15 p.m.

The board ruled Thursday that Xtreme Raceways most close two Sundays in each of July and August, reversing a planning commission decision allowing the track to operate three Sundays in each of the two prime summer months.

Track owner Greg Martens was satisfied with the appeal board’s decision. “It wasn’t bad. We only lost two Sundays. We’re happy to be open again.

“I think, all in all, it was a good meeting, a good turnout, and a good reply.”

Martens said the two groups will always have a different view of the issue. “Compromise was the only way.”

John McClelland, who represents about two dozen landowners opposed to the track, said they have mixed feelings about the decision and the granting of a five-year operating permit.

“They rolled back hours some, but not as much as we would like.”

Track opponents plan to wait until they have the appeal board’s written decision and the reasons behind it before deciding whether to appeal again. The next step would be to take their case to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

Those annoyed by the track have taken a harder line lately.

They initially fought to reduce the modify track operating hours to leave more weekends noise-free. But they now want to see the track shut down or moved, said McClelland.

The appeal board also ordered the Martens to split the cost of dust control measures if residents on a nearby road request them.

The Martens were also told to post notices on the Xtreme Raceways website telling patrons to use the designated access roads, to obey speed limits and respect the property of others when driving to and from races.

Some neighbours had complained at earlier hearings that track users were roaring down local roads in their trucks.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Trudeau: no apologies for heckler encounter, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

OTTAWA — Hate speech and the politics of division are creating a… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP charge woman with drug trafficking

Rocky Mountain House RCMP have charged a woman with drug trafficking after… Continue reading

Officials report some headway on wildfires, but thick smoke hangs over B.C.

Wildfire crews report some headway was made over the weekend battling hundreds… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month