SUDLERSVILLE — Sudlersville Town Commissioners unanimously approved Ordinance 2020-01 to amend the town’s zoning ordinance to better describe the types of uses that fall under the “outdoor recreational facility” category and those that fall under the “outdoor commercial amusement, indoor arcade” category April 1 after a public hearing on the matter.
The change is found in Article IV, Section 4.5, C, under Assembly and Entertainment. The amendment expands that section to read, “Outdoor Commercial Amusement, Indoor Arcade uses include, but are not limited to, arenas, billiard centers, video games, auditoriums, amusement parks, bowling center, cinemas and theaters. Outdoor Recreational Facilities include, but are not limited to outdoor sports venues for participation and/or spectators, skateboard and bicycle parks, rallycross tracks and motocross facilities.” The changes open the way for a proposed pump track facility by Pastrana Racing LLC.
Several residents voiced support for the ordinance and plans for the track. Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Company President Bill Faust said the fire department supported the amendment. Both Mike Faust and Faye Williams spoke in favor.
Queen Anne’s Conservation Association Executive Director Jay Falstad opposed the change.
Lynn Winterstien asked about noise. Barry Griffith said the Patrana group is working on a noise and traffic study.
In related business earlier in the April 1 meeting, the town introduced a noise ordinance, Ordinance 2020-03, addressing times racing would be allowed. The hearing was scheduled for May 6, too late for press time.
The commissioners also voted April 1 to accept the bid of $125,000 from Pastrana Racing LLC for a piece of surplus property. Other bids for the property were $66,188 and $60,000, both from E.T. Kimble.
On Monday, May 4, Falstad announced that his organization and nine Sudlersville residents had filed suit over the changes in Ordinance 2020-01 in attempt to block the proposed Pastrana racing facility.
“The Town Commissioners have voted to change the character of Sudlersville in order to enable a developer partnership, of which a Town Commissioner is a member, to make a profitable sale of a property to a buyer who wants to use the property for a purpose not permitted under the Town’s Zoning and Comprehensive Plan. The Commissioners have jammed through their drastic changes by irregular procedures rife with conflict of interest, lack of public notice, and intimidation of opponents. QACA and the immediately affected neighbors have no recourse other than litigation,” Falstad said in a statement.
The legal proceedings were initiated April 30 with a petition for judicial review filed in Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court, along with two Maryland Public Information Act requests filed with the town to inspect documents. The court filing states the petitioners also intend to file a declaratory judgment action within 10 days; Falstad said he would have a further statement at that time.
In a February interview with reporter Doug Bishop, track organizer Travis Pastrana of Annapolis described the proposed project.
“We’re looking at purchasing two parcels of property, accumulating approximately 130 acres,” he said. “Only 25 acres will actually be developed for three different tracks. The first track will be an introductory pump track. It will be for every level of bicycle riding, from the most elementary, to the safest entry point for this sport, to advanced youth riders.”
Pastrana continued: “We also plan to have a go-cart track, and the go-carts will be all electric carts, which are less noise. Now, I don’’t mean go-carts like you see at Ocean City. People will bring their own go-carts to run on this track. We’re not renting go-carts. The third track will be for dirt bike practice and racing. We want to grow our sports at the grassroots level, making it affordable to the most people.”