City gives green flag to resume racing at Valley Speedway

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- Embattled Valley Speedway has been given four more years to operate as part of a new conditional use permit. The city revoked its previous conditional use permit amid noise concerns.

FOX 4 first brought you this story in 2013, when after Valley Speedway celebrated its 10th year in business, residents started complaining that the races were too loud.

Saturday April 4th is the first scheduled race of the season for Valley Speedway. It's an event owner Dennis Shrout wasn't sure was going to happen.

"We've been to numerous meeting, probably 15 or 20 meetings about this," said Shrout.

In 2003, the city granted him a conditional use permit setting the noise level at 65 decibels at the property line. That's about the noise level of normal conversation.

Shrout showed FOX 4 a sound study showing that it only went a decibel over on a race night. However, noise complaints to the city were enough for the Board of Alderman to pull the permit effective October 2014. The decision came after several public comment hearings.

"Basically when they canceled my special use permit, I got a million dollar facility that's good for nothing," said Shrout prior to the final decision.

He saw the light at the end of the tunnel earlier this year, when the planning and zoning commission voted in favor of granting Shrout a new permit.

Monday night the Board of Alderman made it official to much applause. City officials would say little more than that they're glad it's all over.

While the terms of the permit are something Shrout and the alderman agree on, Shrout hopes the neighbors who complained can as well.

"We will continue to be as quiet as we can and be good neighbors," said Shrout.

The new decibel level can't exceed 85 during an event until 10 p.m., and just 80 decibels between 10:00 and 11.

If Valley Speedway violates the noise portion, the first, second, and third offense will result in a suspension. A fourth time could result in the permit being revoked. The city could then appeal.

Shrout filed a lawsuit against the city after the Board of Alderman decided to revoke his original permit. He tells FOX  4 as of Monday night the suit is pending. Had he not been able to reach an agreement with the alderman, he planned to battle them in court.