More than 200 people packed the Dawsonville Municipal Complex Monday night to hear the fate of a proposed motorsports park in western Dawson County.
After hearing compelling testimony from each side, the Dawsonville City Council decided unanimously to table the vote until its April 13 meeting.
City Attorney Dana Miles set the ground rules for the 6 p.m. meeting. He gave both sides 30 minutes to present their cases, followed by answers to questions from the council members.
Atlanta Motorsports Park Developer Jeremy Porter presented an overview of his new noise study and highlighted the changes he plans to implement to bring noise levels down from an original 103 dBA to 98 dBA from the track’s outside edge.
Other changes include moving a portion of the course nearest to Hwy. 53 in closer to the track, extending natural sound barriers and using hay bales as a sound buffer.
Councilmember Jonathon Cox said that the council took the right approach in tabling the vote. In part, because Porter waited until noon Monday to submit a recommended sound study.
According to Cox, there is just too much information to absorb in such a short period of time.
Mayor Joe Lane Cox agreed and recommended that the council table the vote until April so that the city’s engineer could review the sound study and the council would have adequate time to discuss and review the findings.
“I don’t feel like we have had ample time to make a decision on something so important,” said Mayor Cox, who added that he had received over 500 e-mails both for and against the project.
“We take our job seriously. I have laid awake at night thinking about this,” he said. “We want to do what’s right.”
Porter echoed those sentiments.
“We will continue to pray and continue to take the high road; to state the facts. I had a feeling it would be (tabled). They (council) need due process and a fair amount of time to review the information to make sure they are comfortable with it,” Porter said.
Adjacent property owner West Hamryka said that he was “thrilled” with the council’s decision.
“They (the council) did stop to think about it and we are thrilled that they did stop to look at this (the sound study),” said Hamryka, who claims that if the park is approved his family’s horse business will suffer tremendously.
Hamryka’s attorney Richard Wyngate contends there are several issues that still need to be addressed; including, an inconsistency in the city’s future land use and comprehensive plans, the need for a Development of Regional Impact study and the results of the noise study.
Editor Stephanie Griffin contributed to this report.