Aberdeen imposes moratorium on auto-racing events

The Aberdeen City Council voted unanimously at its meeting Wednesday night to adopt a six-month moratorium on auto-racing events within the city limits.

With the moratorium, the council, members said, aims to adopt rules and regulations for such events to ensure the safety of spectators. The vote passed 9-0. Council President Pete Schave and members Jerry Mills and Doug Paling were absent at Wednesday’s meeting.

The vote precedes the Triple Threat drifting and autocross racing event scheduled in the SouthShore Mall parking lot over Labor Day weekend. The council moved to make the moratorium’s first reading function as the third reading to expedite the moratorium and perhaps get regulations on the books in time for that early September event.

The city could lift the moratorium before that event if the council works out the regulations in time.

Last year’s event included drag racing in the mall parking lot.

In the drift event, cars race through a course of pylons, making short, twisting turns that send cars sliding sideways.

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Cook first presented the moratorium at the June 10 Public Safety Committee. The mall, where the races are held, is in Cook’s ward, which he represents with wardmate Tawni Andrews.

“We want to make sure that all the safety precautions are put in place before this event is allowed to move forward,” Cook said during Wednesday’s meeting.

During the council meeting’s first public comment section, Triple Threat event organizer Brittany Starheim told the council she wasn’t aware the event required a city permit, but planned to submit an application for one on Thursday, as well as meet with the police and fire departments to consider the possibility of having their personnel on standby during the event.

“We want to make this a safe event,” Starheim told the council. “The last thing we want to do is offend or not make this a safe event.”