The disagreement between the National Corvette Museum Motorsport Park and its neighbors on Clark Circle remains ongoing, but on March 17 the track will present an amended noise abatement plan to the Bowling Green City-County Planning Commission it believes will go a long way towards settling the issue once and for all.
In June of 2015, the NCM Motorsport Park was served a Notice of Violation by the planning commission, advising the track that it had not met several conditions outlined in the Binding Elements document that governed track construction. While the ruling technically halted track operations, the facility opted to remain open and face fines instead of jeopardizing events scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.
In the months since, the track has constructed a series of noise abatement barriers that exceed those called for in the Biding Elements document, and has received a report from sound engineering company Bowlby & Associates, advising the best way to permanently address the issue.
Per the Bowling Green Daily News (via Corvette Blogger), the plan to be presented on March 17 calls for construction of a 12-foot wall atop the existing 1,620-foot long noise abatement berm, which itself measures an average of 14-feet in height. Additional walls to remediate sound will be constructed in select areas around the property, a plan which Bowlby & Associates believes will satisfy the 50 or so Clark Circle residents currently filing suit against the NCM Motorsport Park.
Another step proposed by the track is the implementation of a 103-decibel limit for all cars participating in track events. Previously, the violation standard was an unquantifiable “substantial noise,” and by setting a 103-decibel limit (a value that has worked at other motorsport venues near residential areas), the park believes it can further address the concerns of area residents.
For the first time since the conflict began, the track is actively seeking the public’s support, too. Those in the Bowling Green area are asked to attend the City-County Planning Commission’s March 17 meeting, during which the park will present its amended noise abatement plan. Those unable to make the meeting are asked to sign a petition showing support for the facility, which according to the Support NCM webpage, adds $35 million (a figure that includes the Corvette Museum) in economic benefits to the city of Bowling Green, helping to make it an international destination for Corvette fans from around the world. In its plea for public support, the track states,
The NCM Motorsports Park is seeking approval of an Amended Detailed Development Plan from the City-County Planning Commission to develop noise abatement structures to further protect neighbors. We support the NCM Motorsports Park and want it to be successful as long as the neighbors’ ability to enjoy their homes and properties is not adversely affected.
The City-County Planning Commission must approve the amended plan before the track can apply for construction permits, a step that isn’t likely to occur on the 17th since the Planning Commission is conducting its own outside expert review of the Bowlby & Associates study. Regardless of the outcome of the March 17 meeting, the track and its neighbors will be heading back to court on November 1, when a judge is expected to hear a compensatory damage case from Clark Circle residents.
For details on the March 17 meeting, or to express your support for the NCM Motorsport Park, visit SupportNCM.com.