Overcrowding Cancels Alamo Twp. Noise Ordinance Meeting

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ALAMO TWP, Mich. — Word spread like gasoline on fire that the Alamo Township board was going to propose a new noise ordinance, which many felt would threaten the Kalamazoo Speedway.

People packed the township hall so full that people poured out of the building, and it was standing room only.

The original ordinance was put into place back in 1974, and Township Supervisor Lou Conti said it is not enforceable according to authorities. Basically, there are no decibel readings to enforce, he stated.

Conti said he knew the meeting was going to be full but was overwhelmed at the response. He gave the fire marshal a heads up, and eventually the meeting had to be rescheduled due to a fire hazard.

“The thing is,  I always say is we want to have democracy upheld and we want to make sure we get all constituents’ sides and views before making a drastic decision,” said Kalamazoo County Commissioner Julie Rogers.  “I was really pleased tonight, since there was a lot of people turned away, and it was such a small venue that they rescheduled. I think it’s really important that everyone who wants to speak up can speak up.”

The new ordinance, when it is proposed in public, would set decibel limits at 82 during the day and 55 after 11 p.m.

“We weren’t here to say this is 100 percent stupid and a horrible idea,” said track announcer Jason Seltzer. “We’re just looking for a little bit of bargaining. Is 82 the number? I don’t know. We gotta work with them, and they’ve got to work with us.”

Conti said the whole noise ordinance issue surfaced about 14 months ago and was tabled by the previous board. The newly elected board is now dealing with the issue, which started with complaints about kids making a motorcycle track in their backyard that was very close to their neighbor’s home, Conti explained.  The motorcyclists were adding more and more hills, taking off their mufflers and having people over all of the time, he said.

Gary Howe owns Kalamazoo Speedway and Conti said they have been meeting with him. The new decibel numbers are similar to those in neighboring townships, but Alamo Township would make some exceptions for the rural setting to accommodate everything from shot guns to farm tractors.

“Personally, the special exemption that we offered him, I personally would tell him that we would probably go a year on enforcement just to get him tuned up, so we can tune this thing right, so it’s a win, win for both of us.” Conti said.

One suggestion to quiet the cars down wer $70 baffle mufflers, according to Conti.

The meeting will be rescheduled, and they are looking to hold it at the elementary school gym on 6th Street. However, the exact day was not known at the end of the meeting.

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15 comments

  • Ellen Jolliffe

    I would like u to talk to u about Conti's comments on here & the ones on the live interview. Because they are different and I am the person he is talking about in the live interview. The track is no where near any bedroom windows as he stated. So I feel you should come and talk to me and also film where this track really sets. We have nothing but trouble from the people next door for quit awhile. I would like my side of of the story heard not just his & the Potters who seem think they own this road plus the township. Thank You, Ellen S. Conley Jolliffe #2693650605

    • Anthony

      don't forget the part where we made the agreement to not ride after 8 o'clock and i would like to know where they got the idea that we were taking our silencers off?

  • Rand

    Aren't all gas powered lawn mowers louder than 82 db? Does that mean that police will be ticketing and fining residents who are mowing their lawns?

  • John

    Anything such as lawn mowers, power tools, diesel engines, any gun, two cycle engines, motorcycles, blenders, tractors are over 80 db. When Mr. Conti was speaking of the mound of dirt next to a bedroom window its actually a reference to one of the board members neighbors. Which makes no sense because of the field buffering between the mound and the nearest house.

  • Sandy

    I agree that these kids really need to be kept under better control. There absolutely needs to be stricter rules in the residential neighborhoods. I just hope that a solution can be worked out as far as the Speedway is concerned. This could have a significantly negative economic impact on the area, as well as the employees and other businesses in the vicinity. It's been made clear that many of the people living near the Speedway don't have a problem (considering they knew it was there before they moved in to the neighborhood). So, by all means get the kids under control, but not at the cost of dozens of jobs.

  • buffy

    personally, i think the whole decibel level thing is bunk. you knew a racetrack was nearby when you bought your house, how dumb are you to think it's gonna be quiet during race season?? pull your heads out of your nether regions and buck up! it's NOT year round, it's NOT every night, and it brings much needed money and jobs and entertainment to the area. I LOVE going to the races, and since grinches like those who are complaining shut down Galesburg as well, I am getting forced to spend more money going farther away to watch a race and have a good clean fun time. god i hate people sometimes, so friggin selfish…

  • Anonymous

    I’m an Alamo Resident and I live here for 25 years now. Even though where I live I can hear the race track and Martin Motor Sport, I find the shooting of the guns more of a bother than the noise of the Kalamazoo Speedway, maybe the new board should of left that on the table and put a little more dust on it. I feel that if you knew the speedway was there when you move in the area you should of thought about that before you bought your house!!!

  • TJD

    By all means get these kids under control…How dare they build a track in their backyard, have friends over and enjoy life.
    It would be much better for them to be cruising the streets shooting up houses, picking fights, etc….
    People get your priorities straight, kids now a days are darned if they do and darned if they don't!!!
    Kudos for the kids that put all the effort and time into building the motocross track, to share good times with their friends and family.
    It's great to hear about kids spending their time in the fresh air, using their skills to be creative not to mention all the hard work that goes into a project like that. Most of my childhood is built around memories of my summers at the track spending time with my family and friends, now my daughter is a racer at the track and once again it brings our family together sharing quality time doing what we love, I would be so disappointed if that was taken from her due to ignorance.
    So please think past yourselves and your wants but about the families, friends, the young and old alike that goes along with the track.

  • kdk

    I don't know anything about the 'kids' referenced above. I do agree with Buffy. The race track was there when you moved to Alamo township, live in harmony with i.

  • thorninside

    if the neighbor had a problem they could call the authorities, why write an ordinance that affects the whole township and one of their biggest businesses, i guess if the one with the beef is on the board that would explain it.

  • Ellen

    Like the board member does not live on this rd. But her mom lives kitty corner from & her brother & his wife live next to me. They did call the police at least 4 times but no tickets were issued cause we weren't doing anything wrong. My kids only rode their cycles twice last summer for fear of her calling the cops on them. Pretty sad when we have all this land & can't enjoy it as my dad intended. They won't even have friends over outside for fear cops being called. U want the whole story come to the township meeting. Because noise ord. will affect u if u live this township. And u won't like!