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Road Atlanta may get 30-minute Sunday noise reprieve

Vote expected for Thursday's commission meeting

POSTED: February 11, 2009 12:19 a.m.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners may chop Sunday quiet hours by 30 minutes.

According to a county ordinance, racing is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Racing activity must end at 7 p.m. on Sunday and at midnight every other night.

“Basically what that is is a quiet time because there’s a lot of churches in the area to not have the racing activities going on during normal church time,” said Hall County Business License Director Susan Rector.

Rector said every year, Road Atlanta asks the commission for permission to start races at noon on certain occasions.

“Historically though over the past 10 years, Road Atlanta has asked the commission to amend this, the quiet time, and let them begin racing activities at 12 noon instead of at 12:30,” Rector said. “Last year, I think they approved 12 dates and this year there were 13 dates.”

Geoff Lee, president of Road Atlanta, said the extra 30 minutes helps the events end earlier in the evening.

“There’s a lot to fit in. That extra half-hour allows us to have a more appropriate Sunday schedule ... you want to be able to wrap up the day at a reasonable time.”

When brought before the board of commissioners at its work session Monday, Commissioner Bobby Banks suggested the commission consider altering the ordinance.

“They come back every year and ask to go from 12:30 to 12,” Banks said. “If they’re going to come and ask and we’re going to give it to them there’s no reason not to just get it changed and be done with it.”

However, Banks said he feels it is very important to keep the noise ordinance intact.

“If we didn’t have that in there they could hear the cars inside the church,” Banks said. “It’s a needed ordinance.”

The Sunday racing restriction is unique in Hall County.

“In the business license code this is the only time restriction that we have,” Rector said.

Lee said he is aware of few other ordinances like Hall’s.

“Most tracks these days don’t have a quiet time,” Lee said “Everyone I know believes two hours is sufficient.”

But Lee said is important to end as early as possible on Sunday evenings for fans and the surrounding community.

“We want to be good citizens in the community,” Lee said. “We want as peaceful a Sunday night as possible.”



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