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Examiner
  • Racetrack steals our peace and quiet

  • For the past several years, many residents of Grain Valley have been suffering from noise levels that limit their ability to use their property as they see fit. Since May 2004, a racetrack has been allowed to run within the city limits creating noise levels that violate the ordinance, and the elected officials have failed to enforce this ordinance they swore to uphold.

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  • For the past several years, many residents of Grain Valley have been suffering from noise levels that limit their ability to use their property as they see fit. Since May 2004, a racetrack has been allowed to run within the city limits creating noise levels that violate the ordinance, and the elected officials have failed to enforce this ordinance they swore to uphold.
    Following multiple complaints regarding the noise, city officials recently met with residents concerning that long-standing ordinance. The city is now confronted with the dilemma of meeting the demands of citizens to enforce the ordinance or allowing the operation of a racetrack within the city limits that consistently exceeds the decibel limit set by the ordinance. Worse than inaction, the city is now considering raising the prohibited decibel level, a decision that is being met with a petition from the citizens to prevent such a move.
    The ordinance in question specifies that racetracks shall not exceed 65 decibels. Numerous Noise Survey Reports have found peak sound levels of 71.3 decibels. These levels were measured approximately 7,600 feet from the racetrack. After citizens continued to complain, the city conducted even more tests, which again indicated that noise levels were routinely in excess of 65 decibels. Despite the findings, the city has taken no action to require abatement of the noise consistent with the limits set forth in the ordinance. The latest independent study, issued to the city, included readings of 74 decibels 10,500 feet from the racetrack; 76 decibels at 7,600 feet from the race track; 84 decibels at the intersection 6,400 feet from the racetrack.
    The racetrack or “speedway” is not the only source of noise. A “sand drag” is adjacent to the racetrack, and it operates and schedules its own races, some of which take place concurrent with the racetrack/speedway. The racetrack season starts in early March and runs through early November, totaling approximately 71 races, weather permitting. The sand drags season runs from mid-April until September, totaling approximately 20 races. All races start as early as 6 p.m. and can last as late as 11 p.m.
    We must endure the intrusive noise every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall. Every Friday and Saturday, and some Wednesdays and Thursdays, we are exposed to excessive noise in our neighborhoods. We often wish for rain knowing the races will be cancelled. Grain Valley has become the noisiest city in Jackson County.
    This invasive noise contributes to the loss of enjoyment of property, sleeplessness, and well being. We cancel outdoor activities and attempt to enjoy our children and grandchildren’s sports activities. We shut our doors and windows, enduring noise that was not invited into our homes. Some citizens are unable get their young children to sleep because of the noise intrusion in their own residence. Those with autistic children report that they must deal with uncharacteristic behaviors that manifest because of the noise.
    Page 2 of 2 - Those who want the ordinance enforced are told by some race fans who for the most part are nonresidents that we should move. Anyone interested in a home battered by loud noise every weekend?
     
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