Racetrack Moving From Talbot County to Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Racetrack Moving From Talbot County to Del.

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

EASTON, Md.– Citing a "toxic business environment" as one of his reasons, the owner of Speed Citi Motorsports has announced that his business is leaving Talbot County, Md., for Seaford, Del.

Speed Citi property owner Steve Wheeler said he, along with his business partners, are tired of jumping through hoops in Talbot County.

"We got a decision against us and because of that we said we didn't want to develop the track anymore," Wheeler said. "We couldn't justify spending the time, money and effort to build a family facility here that we could be proud of when we felt we didn't have the support of the county."

Wheeler said he spent the last four years working with Talbot County to bring the track in Easton into compliance with county code. However, last week the Talbot County Board of Appeals refused to approve a 5-acre expansion for the track. 

"It's disappointing," Wheeler said. "Talbot County has gotten the reputation of being a toxic business environment and this certainly doesn't help us, so it's very disappointing."

Residents of the nearby Easton Club East community association have complained about noise coming from the track, which offers offroad riding and practice tracks for motorcross, ATV riders and beginning riders. Speed Citi's neighbors claim the track's activities are disruptive and lower property values.

One of those neighbors is Barbara Shockley, who said the outcome of last week's county meeting in which Speed City was denied its expansion request was exactly what she wanted.

"We as a community were very pleased with the results," Shockley said.

Now that Speed Citi is leaving her community, Shockley said she can once again enjoy the peace and quiet in her backyard.

"The quiet will be a real plus to say the least," she said. "We are all delighted that it all happened the way that it did."

Over the last 13 years, Speed Citi has brought in more than 60,000 visitors to Talbot County, making its departure Talbot's loss and Seaford's gain. Wheeler said Seaford has already granted Speed Citi permission for overnight camping and sanctioned races, both of which Talbot County refused to allow.

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