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Old 06-15-2012, 11:47:33 AM   #1
muscl car
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another dragstrip closing in arizona ...

with the closing of firebird raceway and now possibly speedworld this sucks

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Speedworld must close, Maricopa County saysAfter years of disputes, racing property is told it lacks correct permits

The saga of Speedworld's dispute with Maricopa County has all the twists and turns of a motocross track. But county officials have had enough. They say Speedworld owner Dan Matthews has not secured the proper permits, and they have asked him to close the northwest Valley track by today.
Speedworld is a 320-acre racing property off U.S. 60 and Jomax Road in Wittmann. The track started as a drag strip and slot- and sports-car course in 1961. Today, it also includes a motocross course, off-road truck course and paintball range.
The site is well-known in the racing community and each year holds nationally televised motocross and off-road truck events.
The problems with the county arose in 2006 when Matthews applied for a permit to run electrical lines to the property. He was told that Speedworld had grown beyond its original special-use permit by 261/2 acres and that, because of the growth, he would have to file for a new permit that would incorporate the additional land.
The county also informed Matthews that the original 1961 case file was missing and the plan that Matthews submitted in 2006 would be the one on record.
Four years later, the county claimed it had documented unapproved construction in April 2009, in addition to the continued use of the disputed land, according to a 2010 letter sent to Matthews.
Then, last year, the county found the 1961 site plan. In a Dec. 21, 2011, letter to Matthews, the county said the 2006 approval was based on the assumption that Speedworld had developed according to the original plan. Because this was not the case, approval was rescinded.
The letter also said Matthews had continued to develop the site without obtaining construction permits.
Earlier this month, the county issued a compliance offer, valid through today, to rectify all the issues. The agreement gives Speedworld a year to secure proper permits for construction and grading.
The offer includes a stipulation that Speedworld must close down while it obtains the permits. Matthews says that is a deal breaker.
"I will not make any moves that will voluntary shut down the business," he said.
Matthews said he has done no construction on the site and has only opened areas previously used by former lessees. All the buildings on the property are portable sheds, and any grading he's done is to maintain the dirt courses and roads, he said.
"If every time I have to move dirt I had to get a permit, I couldn't run my business," he said.
Matthews said he's more than willing to work with the county, but there has to be a way to both stay open and comply.
"I don't know why it's escalating to the point where they say the business has to shut down," he said.
Matthews said closing Speedworld would be bad for the surrounding community. The racetrack brings in roughly $1 million a year, and event visitors are a boon to the restaurants and hotels in nearby Surprise and Wittmann, Matthews said.
During events, the business employs 50 or 60 part-time employees, he said.
Carolyn Oberholtzer, attorney for Speedworld, said she and her client were evaluating all options on how to move forward, and she had no further comment, other than to say Speedworld has been an asset to the Valley for half a century.
"I'm certain there's a solution that will avoid shutting down this business, which employs dozens and dozens of people and has for so long," she said.
Darren Gerard, deputy director of the county's Planning and Development Department, said the issue boils down to the fact that Speedworld has done a significant amount of construction, grading and additions without proper zoning or permits.
Even ignoring the 1961 site plan, Matthews has made changes from his 2006 plan that can be seen by aerial photos, Gerard said.
Gerard said Speedworld should not be operating until it has completed the necessary construction permits. As a public venue, there is no way to tell if it's safe without following proper procedure, he said.
"And a lack of permits and unentitled uses are, by definition, a public nuisance," Gerard said.
Gerard said the county has made an effort to accommodate Speedworld and has kept its special-use permit amendment application open despite no response by Speedworld to county suggestions.
"At this point, something needs to light a fire underneath him to make him perform," he said.
If Matthews doesn't accept the compliance agreement, the county will schedule an administrative hearing before a hearing officer, Gerard said.
The Arizona State Land Department, Speedworld's landlord, has not been involved in the permit proceedings with the county but is working with Speedworld about any concerns the state has with the facility, according to Vanessa Hickman, deputy state land commissioner.
"We're reviewing their major amendment to the SUP to make sure we're comfortable with the uses," Hickman said.


Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...#ixzz1xsBDH1y2
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:19:03 PM   #2
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Isn't that fricken awesome.....

Well a lot of local racing is gonna be headed to the streets now.....just what we need.....
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:30:44 PM   #3
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The article doesn't say they are closing the raceway...yet. It highlights the disputes between the site and the county. Hopefully the issues will be resolved with the raceway still in business.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:23:37 PM   #4
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When did Firebird close down...isn't that where NHRA runs their big show?
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:46:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musclecarjohn
When did Firebird close down...isn't that where NHRA runs their big show?

I don't believe it is.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:57:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musclecarjohn
When did Firebird close down...isn't that where NHRA runs their big show?
Cuz the big nhra race is the only One that matters and az is allowed to have? We can't have a competing venue, and a facility that, in all honesty, is a much nicer facility than the one owned and run by the native Americans?
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:05:46 PM   #7
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Firebird is still open, and so is Speedworld, according to their website.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:49:59 PM   #8
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When I lived there a million years ago, there used to be a small strip out near Litchfield I believe. It was way out west somewhere. Is that one still around?

I'd be suprised, but it was a pretty cool little track.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:58:47 PM   #9
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Doesn't have the proper permits? Me thinks there can never be enough permits issued to make them happy and they would just create the need for more and more each costing some outrageous sum.

Not to worry. Once cars just drive themselves as we know is coming, we would all cut perfect lights and hit our dial exactly so what is the point?
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:18:23 PM   #10
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does that track have Armco barriers? if so there are a lot of guys here that must be very HAPPY that track might close...
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:24:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musclecarjohn
When did Firebird close down...isn't that where NHRA runs their big show?


the track is in a major battle in court with the local gila indian reservation over land dispute and the indians wanting their sacred land back .the track is supposedly slated to close in late 2013 after the NHRA arizona nationals


read about it here ....


http://bangshift.com/blog/is-firebir...e-in-2013.html

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/spee...-question.html


http://www.gilariver.org/index.php/n...ild-horse-pass
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Last edited by muscl car : 06-15-2012 at 03:37:53 PM.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:44:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knuckle Dragger
I don't believe it is.


you're getting a very nice upscale outlet mall center in chandler on the site of the old firebird raceway by 2014-2015
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2" open spacer and holley 750dp ...........all old school 70's performance parts

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my old school camaro idle video
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:57:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muscl car
you're getting a very nice upscale outlet mall center in chandler on the site of the old firebird raceway by 2014-2015

I'm not getting jack, I don't/won't use either facility. I don't think the facts are supporting the drama. Firebird is still open at this point, and speed world is in a dispute. Nothing is final at this point. Cause to be concerned if you use the facilities sure, but end of the world as we know it, no.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:59:42 PM   #14
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from a nastyz member from another website ....

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Chuck and Charlie treat the racers and clubs that come there to race,, it will be a ghost town anyways. So who cares! It's pretty aparent how things are there when an orginization like Ariz Drag Race Assoc members all vote to NEVER have another race at Firebird eh!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 351maverick
does that track have Armco barriers? if so there are a lot of guys here that must be very HAPPY that track might close...

They are on Sacred Indian Land...They are Holy barriers...

But only if you are a Red Man...

What we need is another Casino...
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