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.