Sound Ordinance Changes Could Impact Kalamazoo Speedway

Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-14 09:10:31-05

ALAMO TOWNSHIP, Mich — The noise that comes from the Kalamazoo Speedway is something that residents say you learn to deal with.

“I know most of the neighbors up and down around here, and I don’t know who would even be complaint about it,”  Matthew Singleton, resident for eight years, said. “It’s kind of odd, I think.”

Singleton said he lives about a half mile away from the speedway. “I like it,” he said. “I take my kids a couple of times a year. I’m not an avid race fan or anything. I enjoy going, and my kids enjoy it.”

But not everyone shares Singleton’s feelings. Recently, the Alamo Township Board decided to take a closer look at their sound ordinance after they got some complaints.

“People who have to barricade themselves in their basements” on race nights, Lou Conti, Alamo Township supervisor said. “One fella built a sound proof room that he sticks his family in during race nights. That’s the people we’ve heard from.”

Alamo Township is looking to change the current sound ordinance to meet a certain decibel level. Conti says the current noise ordnance right now doesn’t have a set level.

“That ordinance basically says if it sounds loud, its loud,” Conti said. “No court in the world is going to uphold something like that.”

The new ordinance would set the limit at 82 decibels during the day and drop that number to 55 decibels after 11 p.m.

“If we got our noise meter out and taped this conversation, it would be 60-65 range as we talk here,” said Gary Howe, Owner of the Kalamazoo Speedway. “You can’t shut down a city or township to 55 (db) at 11 o’clock.”

Howe said he’s willing to work with the board in coming up with a solution to this problem but doesn’t understand why this is a problem now after 64 years in businesses.

“It’s a new board,” he said. “Six of the seven just got elected in November, and they’ve had two meetings. I go to the meetings and their first two meetings are basically them getting acclimated with the proceedings and stuff. This is their first order of business. I think some campaign promises were made as far as, we are going to quite this track down, or other consequences and so forth.”