Neighbours trying to put brakes on further Sunday races

Neighbouring landowners opposed to a motocross track near Alix have appealed a Lacombe County decision to allow more Sunday racing during the summer.

Neighbouring landowners opposed to a motocross track near Alix have appealed a Lacombe County decision to allow more Sunday racing during the summer.

Xtreme Raceways was opened in 2002 and almost immediately raised the ire of some neighbours, who complained it was a noisy and dusty nuisance that ruined the peace of the countryside.

Track users have been just as vocal in their support of the track, which they see as a family-friendly, safe environment for motocross enthusiasts.

Lacombe County Council chambers was packed with opponents and supporters last month when the municipal planning commission debated an application by Greg and Michelle Martens to extend operating hours and approve the track for another five years.

After weighing proposals by both sides, the commission voted to allow the track to add four more Sundays of racing on top of nine already approved. Other operating hours were cut to address residents’ concerns.

County assistant development officer Berni Kuntz said four letters of appeal had been submitted.

Some opposed the additional weekend hours and the length of the approval term.

Others refer to noise and dust issues.

John McClelland, who lives less than a kilometre from the track, said he is among a group of 24 landowners that jointly filed one of the appeals.

“We’re appealing everything,” he said Wednesday.

The county approved Xtreme Raceways application on 21 conditions, covering everything from dust control and the routes that must be taken to the site by track users to hours of operation and garbage clean-up.

McClelland said the group is not seeking to shut down Xtreme Raceways, but wants an “equitable solution.” He would not elaborate.

Landowners have tried to come to a compromise with the Martens and those talks have gone nowhere, he said.

“I can’t even enjoy my backyard any weekend in the summer without the noise of the track.

“Honestly, I don’t think anybody would put up with it.”

McClelland compared the situation to that of an urban homeowner who has a neighbour move in who holds loud parties every weekend.

“It’s the same thing, only the county has endorsed it.”

The Martens could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The appeal will be heard by the county’s subdivision and development appeal board April 29 in council chambers at 10 a.m.

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