Raceterack rule changes headed back to Mat-Su Assembly

Zaz Hollander

A move to modify racetrack rules in the Mat-Su Borough will get a second look after a veto by Borough Mayor Larry DeVilbiss withstood a challenge from the borough Assembly this week.

Snowmachine race and motocross fans say the proposed changes protect their sports but racetrack neighbors say they could allow existing tracks to get even louder.

DeVilbiss last week vetoed a Feb. 4 Assembly vote to indefinitely postpone any decision on amendments to the borough's racetrack ordinance.

In an email explaining his veto, the mayor said he wanted the changes, supported by the borough planning commission, to be judged on their merits rather than shelved.

"It is also my desire that we will be a little more cautious about postponing anything indefinitely," DeVilbiss wrote. "That does not put it out of reach of this Mayor's veto."

The Assembly on Tuesday night couldn't muster the five votes necessary to override the veto.

The issue will go back before the body on April 1.

The proposed changes came in response to requests from nonprofit, temporary Big Lake snowmachine race supporters who wanted to avoid the permits and noise regulations required under the borough's racetrack regulations.

Motocross enthusiasts also say the existing rules could outlaw anyone from practicing for a race more than seven times even on private property.

Borough planners told the Assembly Tuesday night that snowmachine motocross activities already fall outside the provisions of existing regulations.

Among other things, the proposed amendments would limit the borough's racetrack ordinance to commercial tracks. They would also establish higher levels of acceptable noise for "short duration" sounds between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.