Hearing on go-kart track plan

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners has scheduled a June 7 public hearing on a NASCAR driver's request for a permit to operate an outdoor go-kart track off Mazeppa Road.

Commissioners could vote on the permit that night or delay to further study the plans proposed by NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and ARCA racer Justin Marks.

The hearing will be 6 p.m. at Mooresville Town Hall, 413 N. Main St.

Neighbors concerned about noise say they don't want the track in their largely rural, wooded community.

"You're changing the nature of the neighborhood," resident Jody Brown told the drivers when they met with neighbors May 19 at Triplett United Methodist Church on Mazeppa Road. "And you're opening the door" to similar ventures along Mazeppa Road.

"I personally think you're genuine," Brown told the drivers, referring to their efforts to ease residents' concerns. "We just don't want it."

The drivers' company, DryLake Entertainment, has offered to buy 31.68 acres for $821,431 for their Mooresville Motorplex go-kart track in a far end of Mooresville's new Mazeppa Park.

The nearest similar tracks are in Kershaw, S.C., and Danville, Va., Marks said. Mooresville Motorplex would differ from the dirt tracks scattered across the Carolinas and rest of the country because it would be paved and would adhere to international karting standards.

McDowell and Marks tried to reassure residents about noise during their meeting with about 30 residents at the church.

"We want you to know this will not affect your daily life," McDowell told the residents.

The track's developers will maintain the 80-foot buffer of pine woods and also plant evergreens, Virginia pines and Southern magnolia trees to further reduce sound from the track, project architect Dick Brolin of Mooresville-based Piedmont Design Associates told residents.

Only two or three go-karts would practice at a time during the week, and minimal sound would reach neighboring properties, the drivers said.

The track would host four to six competitions a year, Marks said, and would not let people stay overnight.

At first, Mooresville Motorplex would operate from about 10 a.m. to dusk, like many other karting tracks nationwide.

But plans eventually call for installing lights to run after sunset on special occasions, the drivers said.

Their assurances didn't lessen neighbors' concerns about noise.

"The town should take into consideration appropriate development around us," Linda Overcash said.

She and her husband, Dennis, own Overcash Angus Farm on nearby Shinnville Road.

One of their cow breeding areas is within 1,500 feet of the proposed track, she said, and the couple worry about the effect of go-kart noise on their cattle, especially with up to 30 go-karts at competitions.