just read this in a local paper this sucks!!!! so by my count that will leave district 34 with 2 tracks, that will make for a pretty lame series. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The race for silence This year, Plattekill vows to enforce racetrack rules by David Decker As spring nears, the Plattekill Town Board is gearing up to deal with another racing season. Except this year may be the one when the motors of motorcycles and ATVs are finally silenced. "We're about to start another race season and the three tracks have the season schedules posted," said Nancy Gilman, who lives next to the Diamondback track. "The first practice is March 1st and the first race is the 19th." Gilman, speaking at last Wednesday, Feb. 15's town board meeting, questioned whether the board will finally enforce the town's codes and laws strictly regulating commercial racing in residentially zoned areas such as hers. Last October, the board approved an overhaul of the town's zoning codes that included forcing tracks to prove to the Zoning Board of Appeals that they had operated before prior zoning codes and that they had not made unapproved changes to the facilities. Other operating restrictions were added as well. Essentially, none of the town's four race tracks expected to be able to prove their case and would be allowed a minimum schedule of operations until they must eventually be closed within 10 years at maximum, depending on the individual case. For some this could be the last or at best an abbreviated season. "They've all been notified that they have to apply to the ZBA to prove their pre-existing status," said Supervisor Bruce Loertscher. Gilman asked about on-site camping, which has never been an approved practice. "We're not going to tolerate it," said Councilman Steve Martinez. "And there will be no Sunday racing." He told Gilman that if she needs a witness to any violations she should call him. "They know what the law states," Martinez added. The supervisor answered that there are "a whole new set of laws to be enforced. The code enforcement officers have been told to enforce them." The town's two noise meters were delivered to a company for calibration and the board has discussed scheduling official training classes for enforcement officials, including police and others in the town. The cost will be $4,250 for 10 people to be trained during three days of classes conducted by Rutgers University. Police Chief Gunther Henrich said six current officers were on the department the last time training took place almost 10 years ago. PROOF WILL BE IN THE PUDDING Despite Loertscher's and Martinez's statements, the effectiveness of Plattekill's enforcement efforts remain to be seen. With a judge's legal injunction against the Lembo Lake racetrack and Mike Lembo's recently filed lawsuit against the town regarding its new codes, Martinez said those legal issues need to be settled. Diamondback will also be handled differently than other tracks because they won a prior lawsuit concerning pre-existing status, said Loertscher. Some of those legal challenges may be addressed by zoning law clarifications to residential districts. The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes at its next meeting on March 1 at 7 p.m.