The Banks County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval Tuesday night, Sept. 7, on a request from Zach Lurie, owner of Maximum Powersports, for a conditional use permit to operate a motorcross training facility at 221 Columbus Drive, Homer.

The Banks County Board of Commissioners will take action on the request when it meets at at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the County Annex Building in Homer.

Last month, the planning commission tabled the request and ordered that a "sound study by a third party" be conducted before any action be taken. Some neighbors had complained about noise from the business.

At the meeting Tuesday night, Lurie presented the study study, which was conducted by an independent engineering firm, which he said showed decibel levels of 39 to 57. He pointed out that these levels included noise from other "everyday life" at the time the study was done, including traffic along the road. Lurie also pointed out that the Banks County ordinance allows decibel levels of up to 65 before noise is considered a "nuisance."

Planning commission member Taylor Griffith said, "If you can put a number on it, you can relate it to anything else that is going on. There are some things on the road that I don't want to hear but it's not my property."

Lurie also addressed concerns aired at an earlier meeting about run-off from his property going onto a neighbor's property. He said that he had silt fences placed on his property in 2019 to address this concern, as well as engineering the design of the track to keep the dirt on his property.

He also addressed concerns about RV spaces on his property and said he kept it under 10, which is allowed under the ordinance.

The approval for the conditional use permit came with the condition that the hours of operation for the business be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, with Friday being an alternate day if there is a weather cancellation during the week. On Fridays, there will be no activity after noon. There is also a condition that. no more than eight bikes will be allowed on the track at one time.

Planning commission members voting in favor of the condition use were Griffith, Brian Mathis, Scott Wheatley and J.O. Kelley. Planning commission Jack Stewart was absent due to illness.

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