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Harpersfield Planning Review Environmental Impacts of Safety Track Expansion

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 12/4/23 | 12/4/23

Site Visit Expected

By Mary A. Crisafulli

HARPERSFIELD - The Harpersfield Planning Board held a special meeting on Nov. 16 regarding a site plan application requesting expansion of land use activities at the New York Safety Track on Zimmerman Road. The application was submitted in 2022 following a SWPPP (stormwater pollution prevention plan) violation by the track owners when they removed trees without a permit.

The safety track is a two-mile-long race track originally designed for motorcycles. The proposed expansion of use includes increased hours of operation and development of a .7-mile-long mini-track. Track owners are also requesting additional vehicle types be added to its site plan including cars, go-karts, and mini-bikes. The track is currently only permitted for use by motorcycles.

Board members began a review of the lengthy Environmental Assessment Form that touches on issues such as the impact on land, surface water, groundwater, flooding, animals, agricultural resources, human health, the community, and much more. Board members were unable to complete the review at the meeting though they plan to continue at the next regular meeting.

The board will request a site visit to review the conditions of the property in connection with the application. A site visit will allow board members to gain a better understanding of potential environmental impacts.

The board is also awaiting a report from a sound expert who was asked to examine any studies related to engine noise and its impact on human health. Board Chairperson Dean Darling expects the report to be available at the next regular meeting on Nov. 29 after press time.

Members of the public greatly oppose the proposed expansion of use. Much of the public concern is regarding noise levels. The public is also under the assumption the owners are operating in violation of current permits.

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