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Local News

January 25, 2014

Judge orders speedway to follow rules

Neighbors opposed to the fledgling New York Safety Track in Harpersfield are rejoicing after a judge prohibited the facility from allowing racing there and placed limits on attendance and on motorcycle engine size, keeping down the loud roar of the machines.

The decision, issued by Acting Delaware Supreme Court Judge Brian Burns, also found that the Harpersfield town planning board violated the state Open Meetings Law on three different occasions last year. The judge also took issue with the guidance offered to the town officials by Town Attorney Kevin Young.

The judge annulled the controversial agreement for operation that the town issued to the track. The agreement was the springboard for the track to actively promote its events and market admission tickets to the general public. The judge directed the track operators to submit a new site plan application to the town for the upcoming 2014 season “and beyond.”

Initially, track representatives had assured the town that the facility was “not to be open to the public per se,” attendance would be kept to 25 people and the size of motorcycle engines would be limited to 250cc. Later after the lawsuit was filed, agents for the track said those restrictions were not binding, the judge pointed out.

“This court finds no legal support for that contention,” Burns said. “After considering the legal arguments presented by all parties, the court finds there is no uncertainty in the described use of the property.”

The judge ruled that the track operators are now limited to the activities that were outlined when the site plan was first approved by the planning board — not the one that was modified by the planning board in concert with the code officer.

Burns also awarded attorney’s fees to the neighbors who sued the track and the town, and were represented by Douglas Zamelis, a Springfield attorney who specializes in environmental and land-use law.

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