By DON STINE
More than 200 people crowded the Tinton Falls municipal hearing room Oct. 3 over a proposed motor cross park to be built on a 21-ace tract off Shafto Road.
An overflow crowd had to stand in the lobby to hear testimony.
Another hearing on the application before the Board of Adjustment is scheduled for Nov. 7 at Seabrook Village which will allow more members of the public to attend.
The proposed park would have 395 parking spaces and three different level racetracks. The three-hour meeting was attended by those both for and against the motor cross.
Nearby residents are concerned about noise, traffic and other environmental issues. The site is 1,600 feet from the Fox Chase residential complex and 820 feet from a nearby nursing home. The night racing track is 2,800 feet from Fox Chase.
Residents living at Cedar Village, Fox Chase and Park Place have expressed concerns about the project.
Bill Thorne, President of the Cedar Village Homeowners Association, said previously that noise is the primary concern at his development of 297 private homes, off Route 66 in Ocean Township.
Thorne said, overall, he thinks the hearing went well despite the overcrowding.
“There were a lot of people and most were upset that they could not ask questions,” he said.
But Thorne said he believed the board explained the application process reasonably well.
“They explained the procedure carefully. They were very careful and specific and said residents could only ask specific questions after a witness on that topic has already testified before the board. I thought the meeting was run in a fair and reasonable fashion,” he said.
Thorne said he fully expects that residents will come back to subsequent meetings.
“I think the next meeting will be equally crowded. I spoke to a number of people at the meeting and I think they are in this for the long haul,” he said.
Plans for the Jersey Shore Motocross call for three racetracks, a 3,200-square-foot registration and retail shop, a 2,400-square foot maintenance building, and parking for 395 vehicles.
Ocean Township resident George DeGirolamo, president of Jersey Shore Motocross of Tinton Falls, and his business partner, Andy Rose, are proposing the motor cross and their application seeks a use variance for the track, which will be located next to the Mazza & Sons recycling plant at 3230 Shafto Road. The site is now zoned for light industrial use.
In January, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced that a $500,000 grant was approved for the nonprofit Motocross Center of Tinton Falls Inc. through the agency’s initiative to fund projects that develop and improve passive and motorized trails across the state.
DeGirolamo said he also thought the hearing went well.
“We got some testimony in and the engineer gave an overall view of the project but we didn’t have time to get into many details,” he said.
DeGirolamo said witnesses will testify on noise, lights, and operations of the facility at the next meeting.
“The crux of the matter seems to be noise and people have a right (to hear that testimony). There is also some false information out there and the next meeting should be a good one,” he said.