On Monday, October 19th, the Salisbury Planning & Zoning Commission held the second of two public hearings on its proposal to incorporate into the Zoning Regulations the terms of court orders dating back to 1959 which restrict activities at the Lime Rock Race Track, including a prohibition on Sunday racing. On September 4th the Track filed motions in Litchfield Superior Court seeking expansive and drastic changes to those restrictions that have protected the health and welfare of the surrounding community for more than 50 years. The Track’s motions seek 22 Sundays of racing, long weekends of unmufflered racing and expanded campgrounds with unrestricted hours of access.
The Lime Rock Citizens Council takes the position that the PZC’s proposal to incorporate the terms of the court-ordered restrictions into the zoning regulations does nothing more than make those restrictions public, accessible and transparent, and ensures that any attempt to change or modify those restrictions will be discussed and vetted in a public forum rather than behind the closed doors of a courtroom. Our local Planning and Zoning Commission, not a judge sitting in Litchfield, is best positioned to monitor the Track’s compliance with those restrictions and to consider any proposed changes or expansion that will have a direct and potentially adverse impact on the surrounding community. The PZC has worked diligently for over five years with both the Track and the community to develop a regulatory framework that accommodates the Track’s right to conduct its business while ensuring that the community’s interests are protected. The Track’s abrupt decision to take aggressive legal action has derailed that cooperative process. The public’s comments at the Hearing on Monday night make clear that a majority of the local community unequivocally support the PZC’s efforts to institute a framework that balances and protects the interests of all stakeholders.
If, as the Track’s legal counsel asserted throughout the Public Hearing, Mr. Barber truly wants to “work with the community” and truly wishes no harm to Trinity Church, to Music Mountain or to the residents and neighbors of Lime Rock and the surrounding communities, the Track should withdraw its motions, which are tantamount to holding a gun to the community's head, and allow the Planning & Zoning Commission to do the job it is empowered and qualified to do.