Neighbors upset with the noise from motorcycles at the New York Safety Track in Harpersfield say they will be monitoring activities at the facility this weekend to determine whether it complies with a judge’s order restricting attendance and limiting engine size.
“You can bet my clients will be out there monitoring everything that happens,” said Douglas Zamelis, a Springfield environmental lawyer representing neighborhoods who have banded together in a grassroots group called Friends of Rural Life.
“My clients won’t have to trespass at the track to do this monitoring,” the lawyer added. “They can do it from their own property.”
The track, which opened last year at the 134-acre site of the former Mountain Top Airfield, is scheduled to open today and has been promoting a calendar of events this season on its website and social media page.
The track’s manager, Greg Lubinitsky, did not respond to a message left with a woman who answered a cell phone number listed on the facility’s web site.
A lawyer for the track, Jon Ward, has threatened to bring a lawsuit against the town of Harpersfield unless it does not repeal its site plan review law, alleging its application by the town has resulted in a violation of he track’s due process rights.
Both the town and the track are already defendants in a lawsuit brought by the neighbors who have questioned the way in which town officials approved an operating permit for the track.
In January, Acting Delaware County Judge Brian Burns annulled the agreement for operation for the track, finding that the representations the track had made to town officials about its plans were “significantly different” than what has been taking place at the facility. The judge limited activities at the track to what was envisioned in the 2011 site plan approval. The track is now appealing that ruling.
Harpersfield Town Supervisor James Eisel, who is also the chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, said officials from the Delaware County Planning Department and the town planning board have begun an effort to update the site plan review law.
“There is a lot of ambiguity in the law now,” Eisel said.
Zamelis said his clients “do not oppose a strengthening of the law and a removal of ambiguities.”
Kitty Ballard, a Davenport town board member and one of the Friends of Rural Life members involved in the lawsuit against the track and the town of Harpersfield, said the neighbors are prepared to bring a contempt-of-court action against the track if there are violations of Judge Burns’ restrictions.
“I think they will be trying to keep their (attendance) numbers down in the first week or two, but we will be watching,” Ballard said.
According to the track’s lawyer, town officials placed no limitations on the use of the track when the Harpersfield planning board grantedthe site plan approval for the construction of the track. Subsequently, the investors behind the project spent more than $3 million in construction for the track, Ward said in his recent letter to town officials.