PELETIER — After months of discussion and delay but little or no controversy, Peletier commissioners Nov. 9 adopted an ordinance amendment to regulate racetracks.
The vote during the commissioners’ regular monthly meeting in town hall off Highway 58 followed a public hearing during which no one objected to the changes to the existing outdoor entertainment ordinance.
The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Larry Rhue the sole opposition. Commissioners Dan Taylor, Alice Dunn, Walter Krause and David Bragg voted in favor.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Mayor Dale Sowers said this week of the adoption of the amendment, which had been delayed for months because of concerns over a possibly large crowd attending the public hearing during the coronavirus pandemic. “It took well over a year to get this done, but I think everyone is happy with it.”
There’s only one racetrack in town – Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway off Whitehouse Fork Road – and owner Bob Lowery already agreed to the changes and this year has been following the now-approved new rules, which include shutting down races no later than 11 p.m.
Complaints about noise during a couple of late-ending races in 2019 spurred the commissioners to develop the ordinance amendment.
The amendment allows racers to practice from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Fridays to judge track conditions to set up their cars property for Saturday night races. Practices on other weekdays are allowed from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday practice can’t begin before 1 p.m. Track lights on Friday nights must go out at 10:30 p.m. On race nights, all track lights have to be off by midnight.
The outdoor entertainment ordinance previously regulated hours and other aspects of the operation of things like fairs, festivals, music concerts, contests and “similar types of performances or events.” Generally, it establishes a 1 a.m. cutoff time for such events, but prohibits amplified music after 10 p.m.
Reporter’s note: The News-Times was not present for the Nov. 9 Peletier Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.