Motocross track challenges Rowan County property rights

Motocross track challenges Rowan County property rights
Amanda Foster | WBTV
Amanda Foster | WBTV

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A dirt motocross track in Rowan County will stop its operations after neighborhood frustration.

A trial of sorts unfolded at a zoning board meeting that stretched two days on Monday and Tuesday. Discussion was heated for the eight hours it was extended.

The track is located in eastern Rowan County near Deer Creek Drive off Beagle Club Road. It is adjacent to the Deer Creek subdivision and the Kingstree subdivision.

Now, the case is calling Rowan County property rights into question.

"We believe you should be able to do with your property what you want to do, with exception," Carolyn Christian, who is a neighbor, said.

The Salisbury resident was one of several who took videos and photos to present to the zoning board, and she is one of several who sat through all eight hours of discussion while many made their own cases for why they were for or against the track.

"A nice quiet neighborhood. This has been taken away from us with this track," one neighbor said.

"I do not see where this is a public nuisance. They're not hurting anything out there," another said.

The land is not zoned for a racetrack. The owner, David Eller, has had the property since November. He received a warning for the track's use on Feb. 1 and then received his first citation Feb. 22.

On Tuesday night, neighbors said they are ready to see the track go.

"He has to live with neighbors and we all need to get along in this life," Christian said.

While Eller says the track is only being used by his children and their friends for ATV practice, the board ultimately determined the way he was using the land does not fall within what he is allowed to do.

Some are pleased with the board's decision, while others worry it's a slippery slope.

"If he just levels it off and his kids ride around on flat ground, is that the same thing?" one resident asked. "I mean, at what point is this going to stop?"

Eller did not want to speak with WBTV on camera Tuesday, but did note that the meeting made him feel like a criminal. He says he never intended on selling tickets to the track and says he wanted it used as a practice location for his son and his friends.

Eller does not plan to appeal the board's decision.

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