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South Boston City Countil Denies Rezoning Request

A residential area will not be built next to the speedway.

Figuratively, it’s a tale as old as time.

A city rezoning request permits residents to move closer to the local short track that has been on rural property for decades, with those residents inevitably complaining about the noise, contributing to curfews or the facility eventually closing down.

Effectively, the South Boston Town Council decided on Monday, to not even open the door for such a scenario.

According to a story in the Gazette-Virginian, the city council denied a request from North Carolina property developer Mark Ellington which would have created 200 residential lots in an area near the iconic short track owned by Pocono Raceway.

Dewey Compton, a realtor with Long and Foster, also spoke out in favor of the development during a Monday night council meeting.

Ultimately, the proposal was denied due in parts to the objections of local citizens who advocated for what the residential property could ultimately means for the speedway. South Boston Speedway General Manager Chase Brashears and his predecessor, Cathy Rice, objected to the rezoning request.

Halifax County Tourism Director LaTonya Sadler Hamilton, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Mitzi McCormick and residents Dean Throckmorton and Kevin Warfield joined the general managers in their objection.

Representatives from Pocono Raceway and South Boston tourism representatives also presented letters detailing the economic value of the track to the local economy as both weekly racing and special events like SRX, CARS Tour and the South Boston 200 bring outside revenue into the town.

The South Boston Town Council unanimously denied the rezoning request. There was one member of the body who chose to recuse himself from the meeting and that was Joe Chandler, who serves as the speedway public relations representative.

South Boston Speedway was listed for sale last month, with Pocono Raceway representatives maintaining the property will only be sold to an entity that continues the tradition of high -level short track racing to the region, and that any purchase will follow a lengthy vetting process.

You can read more here from the Gazette Virginian report.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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