Dirt bike riders might soon get their motors running on property near Fort Gordon.
The Columbia County Planning Commission agreed Thursday to rezone 3165 Gordon Highway from residential-agricultural to special district.
The nearly 21-acre parcel was rezoned to permit the construction of a motocross-style track for off-road dirt bike riding.
"We may have scheduled competitions, but for the most part, it will be leisure riding," said applicant Chris Folgman.
The closest facility of this type is more than an hour away, Folgman added.
The property is located near Gordon Park Speedway. A neighbor spoke at the meeting with concerns about noise, water runoff and dust from the track, citing previous complaints about the Gordon Park auto racetrack.
"We've had countless problems with the racetrack," W. D. Bryson said.
County code compliance officers have been called to the property for loud noise and operating during late hours, he added.
Many people in attendance were in favor of the rezoning.
"I don't think in any way they would want to be a bad neighbor to anybody," said Jimmy Hughes, who participates in the sport with his wife and four children. "I think it would benefit the community. It would benefit families."
Conditions were put on the rezoning, including restricting the noise level to 60 decibels within a 500-yard radius of the track and limiting the hours of operation.
The first phase of the project is to construct the track and parking facilities, which could begin in a few weeks. Other phases include adding bathrooms, a small building and lighting.
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