KOFO Local News

County commission kicks back controversial motocross permit to planners

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 15, 2015

OTTAWA — Franklin County commissioners heard a long series of pointed comments Wednesday morning over traffic, noise and safety concerns at a motocross racing complex east of Ottawa. Commissioners also had some pointed comments for each other; and it took three separate split votes for commissioners to send the controversy back to the county planning commission. The planners had recommended that the commissioners issue a special use permit to Harold Martin to operate the Motoplayground, which is in the 3400 block of Tennessee Road just north of K-68, and conduct two moto-cross safety camps each year. Commissioners couldn’t agree on a first attempt to send it back to planners, and on the second vote, wouldn’t issue the special permit. Commissoners were not willing to vote to reject the permit. At an impasse, commissioners Colt wWaymire and Steve Harris successfully pushed another vote to send back the permit and planners to consider additional points including security, hours of operation and size of crowds.  However, Commissioner Randall Renoud was skeptical, noting that their concerns weren’t reflected in earlier county policies.  Judy Hancock, a neighboring property owner urged commissioners to reject the permit, saying that would reward Martin for operating the facility for five without a permit. She also noted that although he hadn’t received a permit from the county, Martin has been busy collecting money for a motocross safety camp in October.  For his part, Martin said he didn’t know he needed a permit.  If the permit isn’t approved, he said he would move the event.  He said his operation boosts the area economy, and brings hundreds of people to the area.  County counselor Derek Brown said he would meet with county planning director Larry Walrod about the timetable for the review.

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m.


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