Anne Arundel County Council members picked over proposed legislation yesterday that would allow an auto racetrack in Marley Neck, questioning the developers on noise limits, traffic impacts, and the level of public input that would be allowed.
The developers of the 54,800-seat arena, Middle River Racing Association, attended the afternoon meeting with promises of noise levels lower than those generated by a manufacturing plant, and plans to widen Fort Smallwood Road.
They also had color renderings of a brick-front stadium and projections of a $170.6 million boost in the local economy.
A motor sports racing complex building on the site of an abandoned copper refinery would make Anne Arundel County a hotbed for racing, much as Nashville is for country music, or Hollywood is for show business, said Joe Mattioli III, MRRA chief operating officer.
The businesslike meeting, including a discussion on "sound contours," had little of the acrimony that met Middle River officials when they took their plans to a forum in Pasadena last week.
But opponents and race fans will have their chance to speak at a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday as the council considers the proposed zoning change.
The bill, sponsored by Pasadena Democrat Thomas W. Redmond Sr., would allow a "motor sports racing complex" on land zoned W3, or heavy industrial. Under his bill, a track would be a conditional use that must meet 16 requirements, not a special exception requiring a hearing.
Racetracks are allowed in W2, or light industrial zones, as special exceptions.
"It seems more appropriate there," Councilman William C. Mulford II, a Republican, said of the heavy industrial area. "The only question is whether it should be a permitted use, conditional use or special exception."
Pub Date: 4/17/98