Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Port LaBelle In Uproar Over Race Car Noise

Sports Car Club Proposed In Middle Of Residential Area

LABELLE, FL. -- Port LaBelle, Florida residents are in an uproar, and at a meeting Tuesday let their views be known to a Naples, Florida developer of a proposed car club at Port LaBelle.

 A proposed 240 acre "driving park" or sports car club has been proposed to be built by next year on the Glades and Hendry county line in the middle of several residential subdivisions.

(Video: Community members speak against the track proposal. Click to see full size in HD)

"Crazy" and "Insane" says one resident about the project, at a Tuesday night meeting at the Church of the Good Shepard in Port LaBelle.

Millionaire owners of sports cars and other high horsepower cars will be able to store and race their vehicles on tracks at the club. Up to 25 cars at one time may be on the track said the developer at the meeting. Speeds can reach 150 m.p.h.

The project's developer, Paul Roberts of Naples, Fl. tried to smooth over resident's concerns without much success at the meeting. Calling the real estate project a "driving club" didn't go over too well with meeting members after he said sports cars will be able to travel as fast as they want, some up to 150 m.p.h.

Speakers expressing their views from the audience included Glades Commissioner Donna Storter Long, noting public Glades county meetings on the matter will be held in March, and from the Laurel Oaks community Hugh Byron Chambliss, Philip Payntor, Ronald Gmitter, and others from the Port LaBelle Ranchettes community. John T Hollingsworth, president of the Laurel Oak Homeowner's Association organized the meeting.

Community residents are against the project because the noise from the track will adversely affect their homes which are adjacent to the project.

Developer Roberts says they have not addresses the specifics of how they might mitigate the noise, but suggested vegetative plantings and a berm. He says Glades county does not have a noise ordinance as far as he knows.

Glades Commissioner Storter did say Glades has a "nuisance" ordinance however.

(Video: Protesters speaking about the race track project.)
(Audio: Entire Meeting Recording of 2/28/12)

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