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Dawsonville council to vote on motorsports park Monday

POSTED: April 12, 2009 12:15 a.m.

DAWSONVILLE — Mayor Joe Lane Cox is pretty certain the Dawsonville City Council will make a decision on the motorsports park at Monday night’s meeting.

"I think we’ll settle it, whether they vote to approve or deny. I believe everyone has the information they need," he said.

Park opponents disagree and were out in force last week, pleading their case to stop the driving course proposed for Duck Thurmond Road in rural Dawson County.

James Thurmond, whose family has lived in the Duck Thurmond area for generations, said he is concerned that more than 60 property owners were left out of a sound study submitted to the city by developer Jeremy Porter.

Porter has requested that more than 150 acres be rezoned from agricultural to industrial in order to move forward with his plans to bring to Dawsonville a high-end, custom driving track that would feature show cars.

Opponents say the project will devalue homes and diminish their current way of life.

In February, the council tabled Porter’s rezoning request in order to review the sound study.

Cox said he is satisfied with the sound study Porter submitted.

"We hired an engineer to review the study, and he said it’s as good as he could get," he said.

Porter contends the homeowners claiming they were left out of the sound study are misinformed.

"Not every home in the area was addressed. But that doesn’t mean they were left out. Obviously, there will be less noise at a home that is farther away from the closest house and more noise than a home that is farther out," Porter said.

The proposal is scheduled for a vote at 7 p.m. Monday in the G.L. Pete Gilleland Council Chambers at city hall.

Dawsonville planning staff has recommended approval with stipulations, including regulated hours of operation, strict guidelines on the number of people who can be at the facility at one time, no lighting or PA system on the track and citations for failure to comply to conditions.

Opponents of the project have made it clear that if the park is approved, litigation will follow.



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