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City of Lompoc

This is an interesting project and from the application it appears that considerable preliminary work has been completed. Because I don't have access to details of that work my comments will have to be general. I hope they will be helpful, I would not want to see this project fail because of some detail that wasn't anticipated.

1. I am assuming the flood plain location has had some preliminary study for feasibility.  I see one of the deliverables is a DFG stream bed alteration permit.  I suspect CA Water Board and COE permits will also be required. Have the costs of these been anticipated, and how likely is it that they will be granted?

2.  I see that chemical toilets are proposed, and that a sewer line cannot be installed in this location.  Will chemical toilets meet the applicable health and safety regulations for such a facility? I am assuming the cost of maintaining the chemical toilets over time has been anticipated.

3. The anticipated volunteer matching time is considerable, over 10,000 hours.  I understand there is considerable public support for this project, but is this quantity of volunteer match realistic?

4. I see that the grant request includes purchase of a tractor as well as rental of a similar unit. Could one unit be purchased and used for both construction and ongoing maintenance of the facility, or are two required during the construction phase.  I am assuming rental costs are based on local rates. Thank you, and good luck with your project. [Bruce Whitcher - 3/17/13]


I want to voice my objections and concerns about the proposed Lompoc Valley Motorsports Park Project at the Lompoc Airport.

I do not feel it is at all appropriate to locate such a project in the city of Lompoc near residences, retail businesses, restaurants and hotels.

The Motorsports Park will bring extreme "noise pollution" to residents of Lompoc and surrounding areas in Vandenberg Village, Mesa Oaks, The Bluffs, homes near the airport and Albertsons and many other nearby homes.

My husband and I have lived near the bluff in Mesa Oaks for over 25 years and can hear the Lompoc High School band practice and sometimes noise from the roads below us and from the airport.  That noise is seldom but shows that sound carries and the anticipated noise from the Motorsports Park will far exceed band and traffic noise.

We live in Lompoc and specifically in Mesa Oaks because of the peace and tranquility.  The noise from the Motorsports Park will invade our lives and homes and ruin our peace and quiet.  We spend our weekends outdoors in our yard and enjoy the quiet.  We sit outside in the evenings and again enjoy the sounds of nature and peacefulness.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of people living anywhere within several miles of the park will be impacted by the noise.

I understand there is a possible positive economic impact from the park and an entertainment value to a select group of people.  I do not feel it is fair or responsible to impose hardship on the many who have chosen to live here because of the peace and quiet.  People have already bought their homes and live where they do because of location and quality of life.  To build a very noisy motorsports park is to introduce something extremely different and change the quality of life to existing residents. Property values will also decline with the intrusion of car racing noise in both the daylight hours and evening.  People enjoy their homes during the day time as well as evenings and weekends.  There is no time that is acceptable to impose loud noise into local resident's lives.

The inclusion of a car race track inside a town is also not a positive addition to the impression the town makes on visitors or potential home buyers or businesses.  It is loud, unsightly and has a generally negative image. I believe most cities do not allow them within city limits for that reason.  We should learn from the cities that have not allowed them or have removed them from so close to town.

I understand that some want a place to race their cars but I strongly object to it at the expense of all the residents who already live in the area and will be negatively impacted by the noise and the light pollution.

I ask you not to approve the grant to fund this ill conceived motorsports park.  The location is not appropriate because of the tremendous negative impact it will have on the city and  surrounding areas. [Anne Jimenez - 3/30/13]


I ask you not to approve the grant to fund the proposed Lompoc Valley Motorsports Park Project at the Lompoc Airport.  I do not feel it is appropriate to locate such a project in the city of Lompoc near residences, retail businesses, restaurants and hotels.

The Motorsports Park will bring extreme "noise pollution" to residents of Lompoc and surrounding areas in Vandenberg Village, Mesa Oaks, The Bluffs,  homes near the airport and Albertsons and many other nearby homes.

We live in Lompoc and specifically in Mesa Oaks because of the peace and tranquility.  The noise from the Motorsports Park will invade our lives and homes and ruin our peace and quiet.  We spend our weekends outdoors in our yard and enjoy the quiet.  We sit outside in the evenings and again enjoy the sounds of nature and peacefulness.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of people living anywhere within several miles of the park will be impacted by the noise.

In closing, I ask you again not to approve the grant to fund the motorsports park. [Jim Jimenez - 3/31/13]


This is a public comment on Grant application GS-002, Project #G12-03-73-D01 from the City of Lompoc for a motorsports park within the City.  We are adamantly against the creation of this project.
 
Issues address in this comment:
1.  Facility close to neighborhoods
2.  Geography of Lompoc Valley/Current Noise
3.  Traffic/Potential Congestion
4.  Primary Reason for Motorsports Park & Use of Grant Funds
5.  Errors in Application & Lack of Public Information
 
1. Facility close to homes
The City of Lompoc wants to build a Motorsports Park complex on 40 acres adjacent to the Lompoc Airport.  The proposed site is the north end of the City and is surrounded by tracts of homes on three sides (south, east and north).  More than 1,000 homes will be immediately impacted by this project. The closest homes are 1/2 mile from the site.
 
There is no buffer (natural or man-made) of significant height between the Motorsports Park and the homes to contain the sound of racing vehicles and announcers broadcasting. The land between the Park and homes is flat, with the airport runway, agriculture fields and limited industrial buildings that offer no serious buffer from the noise.

Houses line Central Avenue, a main east/west route, and Central is one of the proposed streets to be used as access to the motorsports site. It is favored by supporters since it does not require approval by Caltrans.  The added traffic in and out of the Park will greatly impact these residents.
 
2. Geography of Lompoc Valley/Current Noise
The City of Lompoc is geographically surrounded on three sides by high foothills, like a giant cul-de-sac.  The actual flat area (valley floor) is where the majority of the city is situated.  The elevation then begins to rise, south, east and north, with homes built on hills, many over-looking the city. All these homes will be impacted as the noise travels across the Valley. The fourth side of the Valley extends due West, 10 miles to the ocean, and is comprised of agricultural land and part of Vandenberg Air Force base.
 
This geographic situation keeps sound within the Valley, and noise carries from one side to the other during quiet weekends and evenings.  Cheering from high school's nighttime football games let residents know when the team has scored.  Cow herds at the Federal Prison, 5 miles away, can be heard lowing at night during the summer. Coyotes barks and howls carry across the Valley in the evening.  It is a small Valley, quiet during the weekends and evenings, and in this valley, sounds travels a long distance.
 
The Motorsports supporters think modified mufflers and a "state of the art" sound system will not disturb residents throughout the Valley during the weekends, days and nights when the facility is open.  We think this is a serious potential problem.
 
3.Traffic and Potential Congestion
There are three highways leading into the city: South: Hwy 1, a two-lane, winding 18 mile road off Hwy101; East: Hwy 246 off Hwy 101 with 8 miles of four lanes, and 10 miles of two lane road; and West: Hwy 135 that is four lanes.  The proposed route entering and exiting the facility is a major street (Central Ave.), lined with six tracts of quality homes.   The IHRA (International Hot Rod Assn) plans to hold sanctioned racing events on the drag strip.  This could create significant congestion on Hwy 1 and Hwy 246 and on Central Avenue.
 
4.  Drag Strip - Primary Reason for Park and Grant Funds
The over-whelming emphasis of the Motorsports park will be the drag strip, that will be built according to the IHRA guidelines and be a nationally sanctioned facility. Drag racing and specialty drag events will be the key to the Park's profitability.  The revenue from off-road (ATV0, motorcycles and kids area is small by comparison. A IHRA presenter to the City Council characterized the site as "anything with wheels will be welcome to race".  Lighting for nighttime racing and a sound system are planned.
 
The ATV/motorcycles and the Kids Mini park are necessary to get State grant funding, but the drag strip is the key component.  The consultant who was hired to help put the plan together was a drag racer.  The primary focus of this project is the drag strip, with it's professionally constructed track, grandstand, timer, lighting and announcer system, all geared to host IHRA meets, to be funded primarily by California Parks grants.
 
The application for the California State Parks OHMVR grant stresses the off-road vehicles (ATVs, Motocross park) while the cornerstone of this entire project is actually the drag strip.   As state previously, the drag strip will be sanctioned by the IRHA,  liability insurance will be through the IHRA, and the presentation to the City Council by an IHRA representative emphasized the commercial viability of the races.   It is disingenuous of the City to specifically target the interests of the OHMVR (ATVs, motorcycles, off-road) in their application in order to qualify for a project, that at its core, is primarily for a professional drag strip.
 
The Lompoc Valley Parks Recreation & Pool Foundation whipped up the one-acre Kids Fun Motorcycle Park three days prior to the State's deadline to show that they had an "existing" OHV facility in place.  There was an empty field prior to the February 26, 2013 City Council meeting that agreed to the project.
 
6. Errors and Lack of Public Information
There is a significant error in the introductory Statement of Development Activity made by Ms. Galavan.  She writes that 19,000 signatures were gathered in petitions supporting the Motorsports Park.  This is incorrect.
 
The actual number presented to the Lompoc City Council was 10,000.  However, the City has neither the staff or funds to verify that all the signees are 1) residents of the Lompoc Valley, 2) are not duplicated on the multiple pages and 3) are of legal age to drive.  Majority of residents first learned of the motorsports park proposal when it was presented to the City Council in June, 2012.   In a city of 43,000, claiming 25% of the population supports this park is highly questionable.
 
In a meeting with Ms Galavan in June, 2012, our request for a copy of the actual business plan/presentation given to the City Council on 6/5/12 was denied. Subsequently, an email sent 2/27/13 to Ms Galavan requesting the information again, along with the project timeline that was included in the Grant application, was ignored and simply not answered by Ms. Galavan.   The timeline in the Grant application is password protected so the public cannot view it. Why?
 
The residents of Lompoc whose lives will be affected by this project, have not been kept informed unless they are supporters of the Motorsports Park.  The local newspaper did not provide information about the Grant and the public comment until March 21, and only after we made repeated requests.
 
We ask that the Grant applications be denied.  The placement of this facility will negatively impact the entire Lompoc Valley.
 
Thank you for your time in reading this document. [Al & Emily Harry - 3/31/13]


I am writing to voice my opposition to the proposed motor sports park in Lompoc. My understanding is that the proposal was originally made by citizens desiring a "drag strip" on City owned land but with funding solely by those who support and use it. ( Because the City Of Lompoc has apparently already spent money/resources on the project, I can only question the integrity of the supporters and our mayor).

Even it were paid for solely by the users and not the taxpayer I think it is a lame waste of precious fuel, and would not be available to people who don't have the money to waste on sports vehicles, fuel, and all the other paraphernalia. It would pollute the air with exhaust and unnecessary noise. A motor sports park would do nothing to combat the obesity epidemic but on the contrary, it encourages passive entertainment. [Joel Gruenberg - 3/31/13]


I would like to comment on the following grant on behalf of the California Off-Road Vehicle association.
 
City of Lompoc Development   They want to develop a new riding area.  I love it!  A million $ is an awful lot of money in this grant cycle, but I wish you all the best.  If you send out updates on this project, I would like to stay informed, so please add me to your list. [Ed Stovin - 3/31/13]