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Noisy Neighbors: Alamance Co. Woman Wants A ‘Brake’ From The Racetrack Noise

As Renee McIntyre sits on her porch she can hear the roar of a race car. Her home is across the street from Ace Speedway. A speedway that is open during the day.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Renee McIntyre lives outside the bright lights and big city in Alamance County. Her home backs up to the forest and there’s a nice porch in the front yard. The porch has a couple of comfortable chairs that despite the nice location on a rural road doesn’t get much use, “I talked to my husband, I want to put the for sale sign out, I can’t tolerate this,” said McIntyre.

To say McIntyre has a problem with her neighbor would be like saying the Hatfield’s have a problem with the McCoy’s. McIntyre is furious about the changes her neighbor has made and the noise coming from his property, “This is the country, but that right there is loud, louder than any construction,” said McIntyre.

The neighbor that is causing McIntyre and a few other neighbors’ problems is ACE Speedway, “That track runs from April to November, so we only have a few months of peace in the Winter,” said McIntyre.

The track is open five days a week and will have occasional events on Saturday. Jason Turner owns the track, he bought it a couple of years ago, “We tend to operate what we feel are respectful business hours,” said Turner.

Cars can use the track Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Thursday nights until 9pm. The track has racing almost every Friday night during the season, “We operate within the guidelines of the county ordinance,” said Turner.

Alamance County has an ordinance prohibiting unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noises. The ordinance, however, has several exemptions and one of them is regularly scheduled events at any permitted commercial race track, speedway or drag strip, “I don’t know where I go to get a permit for some peace,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre and other neighbors have complained to the Sheriff’s Department, but it hasn’t helped. WFMY News 2 spoke with Sheriff Terry Johnson about the ordinance. “I can tell you what they (driver) will say if we go out there, so and so scheduled us so this is a regularly scheduled event, there is nothing we can do,” said Sheriff Johnson.

The ordinance as written would seem to give track owners an almost open invitation to have the track operate whenever they choose, “If events are every day that is not fair to the people living there,” said Sheriff Johnson.

Trying to get some clarification on what racetrack owners can do, we spoke with one of the county commissioners who put us in contact with a county spokesperson. The spokesperson basically sent us a statement consisting of the ordinance. When asked if the track owner could schedule the track to be open from 6am to 11 pm we were told, “yes”.

Neighbors like McIntyre understand they live next to a race track but say until Turner purchased the track, cars were only able to use it one or two nights a week and there was racing on Fridays. That is certainly not the case now as drivers are often seen on the track in the morning during the week.

The track has completed its racing season and is closed for the Winter giving neighbors like McIntyre a brake from the noise. Turner has agreed to again talk with neighbors to see if anything can be done to help them without impacting his business.

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