Some residents in an area of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, are expressing their concerns over a proposal for a motorsports track and adjacent amenities. A developer is discussing preliminary plans to build the track, which also would allow for vehicle testing, on hilly lands in Oak Ridge.
The developer said there is user-demand for such a site in the area known as Horizon Center, and the project also could be built out to include restaurants, lodging and an amphitheater for concerts.
Council members in Oak Ridge have received two petitions from the community. One is from a local homeowners’ association seeking more information about the development.
“We the citizens of the west end communities of Oak Ridge ask that no sale of the Horizon Center land occur until after such time as the proposed project and its economic and environmental implications are clearly explained to the community, open meetings are held, public comments are received by the city and the concerns of the community are addressed,” the petition reads.
Area residents also have addressed the council about the impact they fear the development could have on the community: a decrease in property values, an increase in noise and potentially higher crime rates.
The second petition, titled “Protect Oak Ridge’s Neighborhoods and Natural Assets from Noise/Environmental Pollution,” explains the potential for adverse impacts on the community.
“Sounds of concerts and motorways are known to travel for as many as ten miles, yet the nearest neighborhood is less than one mile away. This proposal will have a significant negative impact on the livability of our neighborhoods and likely reduce our property values and pollute the natural assets,” that petition states.
There are several steps still to be taken before this preliminary proposal could be approved, including going through the land use and zoning process. Both sides deserve to be heard.