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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Commissioners rule against racetrack zoning exceptions

Friday, November 9, 2012

A proposed special exception to the county zoning ordinance failed to gain the favor of the Putnam County Commissioners this week.

The exception -- which would have allowed racetracks as a special exception to Agricultural 1 districts -- recently passed the Putnam County Planning Commission.

Commissioners Nancy Fogle and Kristina Alexander had a different opinion, voting the against the exception 2-0 at Monday's meeting.

The issue came before the county due to ATV races on the Greencastle Township property of Jeff Cantonwine. The races have taken place on and around Cantonwine's property on County Road 50 North, just north of Big Walnut Creek for the last five years.

Specific objections were voiced by Mark Smith, who owns property in the area. Among these were the noise and traffic generated by the races.

"People want to come home on the weekend and enjoy the sanctity of their backyard," Smith said.

Of even more concern to the commissioners were the assertions -- later confirmed by Cantonwine -- that the races cross county roads, both over the surface and through culverts.

The extra traffic on county roads and the possibility of tearing up roads and culverts weighed heavily on the commissioners' minds.

"We're limited on road money to start with," Fogle said.

Cantonwine defended the activities at his property, saying most neighbors were in favor of the races. He also said the races only happen three times a year and that the events bring people into the county who would not otherwise be in the area.

The decision before the commissioners was not whether or not to allow the specific track, but if such a use would even be allowed as an exception. The Board of Zoning Appeals would have to rule on any specific tracks.

The future of Cantonwine's venture is unclear, however, as races have already taken place at the site for several years with no special exception in place.

Monday's decision has no bearing on Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, which was a business established before the county even had zoning.


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Mr. Cattonwine-- I don't want to hear those ATV's at all. It's easy to say most neighbors don't mind but the fact is they do. The noise is deafening and I can't see anyone saying " yes bring that in next to my home" The one thing ATV Racers have in common is they try as hard as they can to make their machine as fast as possible and one common thing they do is put the loudest pipes they can find. NO NO NO to as track and thank you Commissioners!

-- Posted by Trying hard on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 5:47 AM

trying hard, no one wants to hear your non sense either! The facts are 21 of the 23 property owners that LIVE next to or near Cantonwine and not just have a piece of property like (SMITH) ARE IN FAVOR of the races and several of us made that clear at the planning commissions mtg as well as signed a petition in support of. Unlike the one that started whining about his races, we that actually choose to LIVE in the country to get away from whining, nosey neighbors that can't stay out of others business don't mind it and enjoy it! As well as we stay out of our neighbors business and leave each other alone to do whatever they want to do on THEIR property!!! I would much rather (SMITH) SELL AND BUY PROPERTY SOMEWHERE ELSE, then stop the races.

-- Posted by kttransam on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 8:07 AM

We live west of 231 and can hear the noise like it was in our back yard....our sympathies to the Smith's....we live in the country for the peace and quiet. Now we have ATVs racing up and down the private area we live in like they are entitled to do so.... Yup, you are allowed to race....make it somewhere agreeable to all involved.

-- Posted by foxtrotter on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 11:41 AM

I understand the importance and responsibility that the commissioners have to keep the zoning ordinance intact but hope the zoning board will remain open to approving special events like Cantonwines race. The ordinance gives the board the right to refuse, limit or restrict activities like this. Events like the Putnam County truck pull, Berry Street music festival, the Covered Bridge Festival etc. are enjoyed by some and probably despised by others. Dr. Smith and Mr. Cantonwine should both be able to use their properties as they wish but due to the noise and traffic that the ATV race subjects surrounding residents to the zoning board should impose limitations. Dr. Smith and some Edgelea residents probably don't enjoy the traffic and noise from the County Fair any more than Cantonwine's ATV race. Both of these events are enjoyed by many people and I hope the zoning board is willing to let Cantowine continue providing he can address the concerns. All property owners should have the freedom to use their property as desired but when it affects their neighbors, limitations to protect the freedoms of all need to be applied.

-- Posted by local-yokel on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 12:09 PM

Local-Yokel: Well said.......

-- Posted by foxtrotter on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 12:17 PM

Kttransam; You actually sound more like a ATV Rider than a property owner. I can't guess where you come up with 21 of 23??? I will say to all Property owners- take a trip to Attica and talk with the people who like on the southwest side of town and ask them if they favor the Badlands. It is said 3 races a year and that may be so- for now! I do understand the fair and other events but this isn't the same thing at all. I live here and have for 40 years and I enjoy quite and as the one person stated above the noise travels even west of 231. In the spirit of Kttransam of above let those who want to race buy somewhere else-- if fact just north of US 36 on SR63 there is a ATV Park for sale, I believe it is called Mule Trails, it would be perfect for these races.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 2:55 PM

The riding will continue,thankfully....

-- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 5:27 PM

No, I don't ride atv's or dirt bikes and my statement of 21 out of 23 is absolutely fact. The property owners in the immediate area of Cantonwine's property where all asked to sign a petition stating they did not have a problem with the racing. WOW, this takes place 3 weekends a year and that ruins somebody's world???? The fair is loud and can be heard from afar as well as the traffic is far worse and for several days, can we who live near the fair petition the county to stop it???? Not to mention traffic shouldn't be a topic period unless you live on that road and again 3 wknds??? really.... Dr. Smith is the one responsible for this even being an issue and AGAIN he doesn't even live at his property. I do and to each their own and I wonder how Doc would feel if someone petitioned to stop or close his business?? Just a hint to all you people that race and enjoy the outdoors and it's freedoms, spread the word to stop seeing him for your needs.

-- Posted by kttransam on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 5:51 PM

Unfortunate no compromise could be found, one really wonders how great planning and zoning really is, just allows those with the time and energy dictate what others can do with their property, complete lack of freedom. Other counties do not have planning and zoning and do not appear to be one bit different than Putnam County.

-- Posted by cloverman on Sat, Nov 10, 2012, at 6:44 AM

It isn't just controlling what someone does on their property it is how what they do effects the surrounding area. Take it out a bit and think about no zoning laws. A person could take their yard and turn it into a auto wrecking yard or a waste dumping site, while another neighbor makes a race track. People live in an area where they can enjoy quality life and thankfully Greencastle tries hard to ensure quality life for all. That is why we have a 2 mile buffer zone. This land was zoned farm and needs to stay that way period.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Sat, Nov 10, 2012, at 9:44 AM


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