NEWBERRY – Gatorback Cycle Park in Newberry has been given the green light for another five years. During the City of Newberry’s May 26 Special Commission meeting, Principal Planner Wendy Kinser Maxwell highlighted her findings after investigating compliance with the City’s Land Development Regulations by Gatorback Cycle Park. Kinser explained that the Special Exception (SE) provided to the business requires that a review for compliance take place every five years.
Kinser said that following a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Board, they recommended approval of the Special Exception application.
Kinser said the proposed use is in conformance with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and that continuing to allow the SE would be compatible with the established land use pattern. “The intended use will not materially alter the population density pattern or overtax the load on public facilities,” Kinser said. "The proposed use also will not have an undue adverse influence on living conditions in the neighborhood.”
Kinser explained that the park would not excessively increase traffic, will not create a drainage issue, will not seriously reduce light and air to adjacent areas, or adversely affect property values in the nearby areas. She also said that the park would not deter improvement or development of adjacent property under existing regulations and the proposed park is not out of scale with the needs of the neighborhood or community.
The 230-acre private recreational sports tourism-related facility, owned by Unlimited Sports MX, is located at 20524 N.W. 46th Avenue and is in an Agricultural Zoning District.
The race track has operated for over 30 years in this location and Kinser said there is no documented history of chronic nuisance complaints although there was an inquiry about fireworks at the park.
Newberry Planning and Economic Development Director Bryan Thomas consulted with Gatorback staff regarding fireworks. “They said that they would only be using fireworks twice during the annual Gatorback Mini-Os event," Thomas said. The first display will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24, between approximately 8:30 p.m.– 9 p.m. and will last about 10-15 minutes. The second display will be mid-morning on Monday, Nov. 25, and will last less than eight minutes.
Following up with the Newberry Fire Chief Ben Buckner, Thomas was informed that the state not only allows fireworks displays but also pre-empts local jurisdictions from regulating them on private property.
"Given the results of our investigation, the Board need take no further action," Kinser said. “We’ll be back with another report on Gatorback in another five years.”
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