UPDATE: At the June 23 meeting, St. Peters Aldermen voted 6-1 against the racetrack proposal.
Read original story below.
(Photo courtesy 370 Speedway LLC)
St. Peters officials may decide later this month whether to issue a special use permit for a multi-purpose racetrack off Spencer Road, amid concerns voiced by residents of nearby subdivisions worried about noisy engines and racing.
The city’s Board of Aldermen agreed to table the bill that would allow the special use permit at their May 26 meeting and continue a public hearing. Consideration of the bill and the public hearing may continue at the board’s June 23 meeting.
The racing facility would be located on a 36-acre tract on the south side of Premier Parkway, just east of Spencer Road – the site of an old par-3 golf course. The tract is situated on flat ground north of Interstate 70 and just east of I-370, west of the city’s 370 Lakeside Park.
Paul Irwin, of 370 Speedway, LLC and the potential developer of the property, said the permit would allow go-carts, motorcycles, cars and light trucks to use the track with possible racing. Aerial drones would be allowed but confined to the property. The track also could be used for driver training classes and emergency services training.
Individuals could bring their own vehicles or rent them, Irwin said. The track will also include garages and outside vehicle storage and repairs. Races could be viewed by up to 2,500 spectators, Irwin said.
The board made its decision after hearing from about 10 residents of the nearby Turnberry Bluffs Villas, Braewood and Ellington Place subdivisions who submitted written testimony or made public comment about the permit. The subdivisions are from three-quarters of a mile to about 1.4 miles away from the track, city officials said.
Irwin told the board that a noise study for the track site indicated that with proper controls, including mufflers on vehicles, that track noise would be below maximum noise limits required by the city.
Residents who attended the meeting, however, were skeptical. Pam Havens, a local realtor who has sold property in Turnberry Villas and also resides there, said the major question people ask when they look at homes there is about noise from nearby trains. There are also many older residents in the subdivisions.
“I just feel this is far more impactful than the trains,” Havens said “I feel like it’s going to have a negative impact on our properties.” Havens said the sound may not be just background but could get louder at times, which carries.
Cindy Williams, a member of the board of directors for Turnberry Villas, also questioned whether sound levels would vary and also was concerned about noise from drones.
Meanwhile, city officials said drones and model airplanes would not be allowed to fly offsite and sound levels would be monitored.
The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend approval of the special use permit at their May 4 meeting and staff said the racetrack, surrounded by industrially zoned property, would be an appropriate use of the tract.