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Concord in the midst of major changes?


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I agree with GeekUSA1981 that if Smith would just release the site plan to the public and be open to receiving input on it that this would quench any fires that are currently surrounding the issue. At least then Smith isn't seen as a hard nose.

I do agree that the city acted a little harsh by rezoning it so quickly, but Smith brought that on himself by beginning to grade without a permit. When a home is built you don't just start building the home, you have to get a permit to do so and Smith believes he is above the law that everyone else must abide by. There is no 'winner' here by either the city of Concord or Smith.

The only thing left to do is for Smith to release the site plan and receive public input and work out the details of the noise levels, etc. All of this is almost like a joke to me, to think that after decades of infrastructure work, etc. for LMS and the racing community that he would just throw his pencil down and cross his arms. I say get over it and let's move on, it isn't as big of a deal as Smith is making it out to be and cooler heads need to prevail sooner rather than later to avoid one of the involved parties acting inappropriately.

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I can hear the track noise when there is only one car taking hot laps at LMS at my friends house 5 miles away. Mostly flat land, few clumps of trees, sound will travel, 4000 feet give or take won't make too much of a difference in these conditions. Again, they knew or should have known by being responsible home buyers that that land had the potential to be developed into a race facility since it had been zoned for motorsports since 1960.

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the ignorance of those homeowners who were surprised noise might be coming from the 2000 acres next to you. Now, if you were one of the homeowners who bought figuring a few major events a year, then I can see why you are upset, however it still had the potential to be built. Heres where Bruton made his mistake though; The homeowners who want to see a proposal before making judgement or at least hear Speedway Motorsports thoughts on noise levels and controlling them are being extremely reasonable at this point in time... Bruton should've at least shown them, even if he planned to disregard any thoughts, he should've shown at least some inkling of good faith and been a good neighbor.

I still don't agree with the way that the town of Concord went about it at all. I hope it comes back to bite them, not necessarily by getting LMS moved, but bite them nonetheless.

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Ok, I'm sorry, but as for track noise, no. I lived 3.96 miles from the speedway (just measured it in Google Earth) for twelve years of my life. When Jay M Robinson High School opened, it was built exactly 1.01 miles behind turn three, which, for those of you not familiar with the track, is the side of the track where there are not any grandstands, or really anything but the concrete track wall which is about five feet tall, give or take a few. Therefore, there was no buffer at all between us and the track outside of a thin tree line. You could literally see turn four in clear view from our football stadium's home side. During drumline practice outside (yes, I was a bandnerd,) a car testing on the track would be about as loud as your microwave if you standing a room away. You could carry on a regular conversation without raising your voice and have absolutely no problem hearing each other. During races, I can't testify as to how loud it was at the school because we never had school on Saturdays or Sundays. But at my house four miles away, you had to listen for it inside and even when you were outside it was audible, but not irritating in the least. You could hear cars driving on Weddington Rd a quarter mile away better than you could the race. Yea, four miles vs one mile is a big difference, but it never bothered anybody at school when cars would practice and have qualifying. Sure, the traffic bothered us, but that was about the extent of the headaches. Noise was never an issue for us.

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There is one other tiny issue that no one's brought up--condos. What would happen to the owners of the Turn One condos at the LMS? I know some people who bought one back there back in the 80s for next to nothing, and before this week, it was worth a fortune. Would they simply be SOL?

Edited by Miesian Corners
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There is one other tiny issue that no one's brought up--condos. What would happen to the owners of the Turn One condos at the LMS? I know some people who bought one back there back in the 80s for next to nothing, and before this week, it was worth a fortune. Would they simply be SOL?

Hey, that wasn't an attack on you or anything, I just wanted to point out to everybody about how loud the races and the cars were overall. I went about it the wrong way.

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Hey, that wasn't an attack on you or anything, I just wanted to point out to everybody about how loud the races and the cars were overall. I went about it the wrong way.
No offense taken. I agree that people should research what zoning surrounds them, what long-tern DOT plans look like, small area plans, district plans, etc. I would have NEVER purchased a house there if I wanted peace and quiet. What makes me angry about all of this is the arrogance of Bruton Smith. I see no need to be a bully about anything. It appears that he truly believes he is above reproach just because he's rich. HE'S NOT!!

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I figured that Concord would cave in to Smith's pressure. I hate that Concord doesn't have the courage to stand up to a bully like Smith, but they were a bit quick at changing the zoning in the first place. I can't stand Smith's tactics, especially the fact that he starts grading for the new drag strip without even the city knowing and of course without a permit to do so. Both sides handled the issue incorrectly. The obvious (IMO) thing to do now is to allow the drag strip to be built, keep all of Smith's complex in Cabarrus County, but require some state of the art sound containment for the new strip.

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Agreed on releasing plans to the public for some healthy debate/input. I know nothing about Smith other than his behavior in this fiasco, hopefully none of it has been twisted by the media to sell papers or garner ratings. Acting like a spoiled child has only brought embarassment to the city, state and sport and further cemented in some people's minds the NASCAR redneck image. And it doesn't say much about his ability, now that he has won, to take objective input into his plans for the dragstrip. Who knows, maybe he will now be magnanimous since his ego has been slaked.

I still don't agree with the way that the town of Concord went about it at all. I hope it comes back to bite them, not necessarily by getting LMS moved, but bite them nonetheless.
In fairness, I don't either, but they don't need to be "bitten". Smith did start building before permitting which he certainly knew is not how you do things. Even the average home owner building a storage shed in their backyard knows they need to be checking with some authority or another (for what are legitimate reasons, not just bureaucratic bullsh!t). Our towns already bow down to developers, we don't need more precident set for that in our current atmosphere. Edited by nowensone
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^I also thought about these places and wondered what might happen. I remember when those units first went up for sale. I believe they were going in the $90K-$110K range.

I was also wondering this when the topic first came up. If you look at the deeds and condo agreements they explicitly state that the speedway is under no obligation to hold races at the track. This makes sense, the speedway could never guarantee that races would go on forever. Hope this clarifies things, but I guess it appears to be a moot point now.

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What a complete clusterf... er, disaster... on the part of Concord. Public dollars are going to be given to a billionaire as a reward for acting like a baby when the city stupidly overreacted to his unpermitted grading.... whaaaat?!? Is anyone on the moral high ground at this point?

If there were justice, someone would file suit on behalf of the public to prevent ANY pay-off of Smith (because that's what this is, a flagrant pay-off) as a result of this situation. But then Smith would go right back to whining and threatening to leave, because that's what children do when you spoil them. It's almost exhausting to try and get your head around how screwed-up this affair has become.

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I was also wondering this when the topic first came up. If you look at the deeds and condo agreements they explicitly state that the speedway is under no obligation to hold races at the track. This makes sense, the speedway could never guarantee that races would go on forever. Hope this clarifies things, but I guess it appears to be a moot point now.

He stated in an interview with John Hancock that he would buy out all of the condo owners if the track moved. And he talked as if he was ready to move no matter what Concord did. You can listen to it here: http://hancock.wbt.com/

What a jerk. Although I think the mayor of Concord is just as bad. The way things were handled in this matter was ridiculous on both sides. Now Concord is trying to give him a tax break. Come on now is this really warrented?

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My reaction now to say f**k this moronic waste of humanity, let him leave, but I suppose I'd like some clarification of what that really means. If he leaves there is still a nice big sports complex there, why wouldn't it operate as usual under possibly a new owner, NASCAR itself, Concord, etc.? What type of contracts does Smith hold for this?

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It's not that easy to replace a Bruton Smith. He's a billionaire with huge personal resources beyond finances, and very deep connections in NASCAR. Racing is the kind of sport where personal connections really matter; while Lowe's could undoubtedly operate without Smith, its new owners would have huge shoes to fill and would likely suffer from direct competition nearby.

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Tonight NBC 6 showed a clip of Smith from earlier tonight still stating that 90% probability that he'd move the track. They also mentioned Rock Hill as a contender and said Governor Easley had personally called Smith today to urge him not to move the track. It's bad enough if Concord misses out on all that revenue, but those bozos might have just cost the state of NC millions in tax revenue as well.

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I think it's interesting that Smith wants to remain in the metro area. He would surely be a pariah if he shut down the state's most historic racing facility just to stick it to the residents of a local small town. He would be putting many Concord residents out of work and tearing the heart out of the county. This would be like Ken Thompson moving BoA to Rock Hill... if he's serious about moving the track he ought to be looking at least a couple of hundred miles further from Charlotte.

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Right, that's what bothers me at this point - Smith is just posturing and has no intention of moving, but his threats none-the-less must be taken as serious just because leaving would be a big deal for Concord, at least temporarily. On the other hand, I'd love to see a councilman or planner tell him publicly to go have relations with himself with this 90% chance of leaving crap, as it will take quite a while to build a complex in Rowan or where ever he would have to go, and rich or not $400 million is not a drop in the bucket. This guy needs to be put in his place, if for no other reason than to send a message to bullying egomaniacal developers.

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It's too bad there isn't another billionaire that could come and say "to h*ll with Smith, I'll build Concord a new track." That would be a nice dose of his own medicine. And to even think about moving his track to Rock Hill is a slap in the face for the state of NC. That really irks me.

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