Carlisle divided on motorsports track


By Patsy Nicosia

Carlisle divided on motorsports track

Carlisle’s Planning Board is taking a step back in its review of a proposed motorsports park and RV campground.
The decision to conduct a full environmental review of Jamie Slaughter’s plans for the 130-acre Racer Camp RV Motorsports Park at 442 Lykers Road followed a public hearing last Tuesday that drew more than a 100 people, half from Carlisle, others fans of Mr. Slaughter’s East Durham track, and others just curious.
Supervisor John Leavitt asked the crowd to be civil and respectful and for the most part, the more than two dozen speakers were.
“I know the Planning Board is trying to do what they’re there for and they’re a long way from being finished,” Mr. Leavitt said.
It was on town attorney Mike West’s advice following the two-hour hearing that the Planning Board voted to nullify its initial ruling that the project wouldn’t have a significant impact on things like wetlands, traffic, or federally-protected wildlife.
Instead, because the proposed site is in an Agricultural District, will disturb more than 2.5 acres, and include parking for more than 125 vehicles, the Planning Board is asking Mr. Slaughter to complete a Full Environmental Assessment Form—longer and more detailed than the Short EIA they originally went with.
Mr. West told Planning Board members County Planning will work with them on the full EAF; that review will involve reaching out to agencies like DEC, DOT, and the state Health Department to see if they have any concerns over the proposal.

• • •

The first to speak at the public hearing, former Carlisle supervisor Larry Bradt, said he wants to make sure the Planning Board’s final decision reflects what Carlisle—and not outsiders—wants.
“We live here. We pay our taxes here. No one would want this in your yard,” he said.
Noise was the top concern from those speaking against the project, while those in favor said it would help boost the local economy and create jobs—and give kids somewhere safe to ride.
Larry Daley, who lives in Carlisle and asked for a show of hands to see who else at the hearing did, said the track would be no noisier than farm machinery.
Other neighbors disputed that, saying peace and quiet was the reason they’d moved there, and still another said he was concerned not about the motocross track, but about “an amusement park-sized” RV campground.
Gus Christman, Carlisle, said he’s hauled milk to farms near tracks in Montgomery and Otsego Counties and yes, you can hear the noise.
“I’m not opposed to this. What I am opposed to is the noise—and several miles away, you can hear it. You’re going to hear some noise,” he said.
Laura Bateman, a neighbor on Crommie Road, asked about environmental review of the project as did an attorney who said she was representing a half-dozen other Sissons, with that controversy another piece of the project:
There’s a dispute between members of the family over who owns the land and who can sell it with at times Tuesday Edward Sisson, Tim Sisson, and Kevin Sisson all speaking to those concerns.
After Tim Sisson identified himself as the property’s owner and talked about his longtime emotional attachment to the property, attorney Daryl Cutler stood up to say he was there representing owners Karen Baker and Charles Sisson Jr. and that the sale has their full support.
“I’m representing the owners and I’ve never seen this man,” he said of Tim Sisson.
Several families who know Mr. Slaughter from his track in East Durham—it’s leased, and he wants to build on land he would own—said motocross racers are athletes, not partiers, and they’ve made lifelong friends through their kids’ involvement.
William Ward, Carlisle, said the track would give residents something to do; Adam Hay, Carlisle, argued it would help the economy.
“It’s time this town woke up,” Mr. Hay said. “We need business in this county. There’s not a darn thing here to hold people here.”
The hearing remains open.