By Amy Jo Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW KENT — Colonial Downs will hold its second Mega Mile motorcycle race this summer.
The New Kent County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Monday night to approve the racetrack's conditional-use permit (CUP) application allowing a motorcycle race on Aug. 23, with one minor change.
The race was originally proposed to run this year from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (a change from 2013). However, after hearing from resident Kate West, along with complaints fielded by District 4 Supervisor Ron Stiers, the time was moved up an hour.
"I'm still in favor of this event, I'm just not particularly pleased about the time frame," said West, who lives adjacent to the track.
West added that she felt the walls rattle during the races but really the biggest noise came when the event ended and everyone left on motorcycles.
Last year, the races ended at 4 p.m., so the ending time didn't interfere with getting her son to bed, but the proposed 8 p.m. time would make it difficult for her son to sleep.
Though West was the only person to speak at the public hearing, Stiers said that he had heard from several concerned parents.
"I've had several phone calls from residents, especially in Oakmont Villas where they have younger families, and younger kids. They're like Mrs. West. They're not opposed to a one-day motorcycle race, but they're just not big fans of it going on until 8 o'clock at night," Stiers said. "It's still daylight, but to a little tiny baby, it's bedtime. It's past bedtime."
West requested that the board consider changing the ending time from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate the families. However, the board approved a compromised ending time of 7 p.m.
With the amended schedule, timed practices will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. and the opening ceremonies will be held at 3:30 p.m. The first race will start at 4 p.m.
The first Colonial Downs Virginia Mega Mile was held Aug. 24, 2013, and many, especially those living in Brickshire and other neighborhoods surrounding the track, came forward to discuss noise levels, increased traffic, and the event's impact on their property values.
A few residents, however, did speak in favor of bringing the race to the county for its financial and athletic sports benefits.
However, the county has heard little opposition to a second Virginia Mega Mile.
As a part of the CUP process, Colonial Downs must also submit a cultural events permit at least 30 days before the event and notify the Brickshire Community and Oakmont Villas neighborhood associations of the race date and time (at least 72 hours before the event).
For more information on the Colonial Downs/Holdings CUP application, visit http://www.co.new-kent.va.us.
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.
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