Hearing ends on motocross track; ruling delayed

ckrotzer@theolympian.comAugust 3, 2013 

It could be the end of the month or later before a Thurston County hearing examiner rules on a special use permit for a controversial expansion of a motocross track on the outskirts of Rainier.

Public testimony started Monday and concluded Thursday evening on the proposal for Cadillac Ranch, a dairy farm owned by the Mahan family. The Mahans are proposing an expanded motocross track on part of their property that also would include some services for attendees. They say they need the track in order to keep their financially struggling farm.

But their neighbors oppose the track because of the noise the motorcycles and accompanying music would create. They are also concerned about the possible increase in crime and a potential decline in property values.

The track got off to a rocky start in 2010 when the family began hosting events without permits, which led to a civil infraction from the county, according to interim county manager Cliff Moore.

The events continued after the infraction, leading to a temporary restraining order from the county, he said.

The family and the county then sat down and discussed permit options, and the family has applied for a special use permit for an athletic facility.

Without a permit, the family is allowed to have four large events per year on the property, as are all county property owners, Moore said, and the Mahans have done so.

“They were good on not having more than four events,” Moore said.

The Mahans’ plan includes not only the track but a 12,000-square-foot day lodge and enough parking for 97 vehicles, which is beyond what is allowed under an athletic facility special use permit.

Even after days of testimony, the county hearing examiner has requested additional information from the attorneys for both parties, according to senior planner Robert Smith. Until that information is received, the record regarding Cadillac Ranch will remain open.

A final decision will be made within 10 days after Aug. 21, the day the record is officially closed, unless the examiner requests more time, according to land-use clerk Cami Petersen.

Chelsea Krotzer: 360-754-5476 ckrotzer@theolympian.com @chelseakrotzer

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