Public hearing scheduled to allow horse race track in Halstead

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

MINUTES OF BOARD OF HARVEY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

June 10, 2013: John Waltner reported that he and Gina Bell, Director of Planning & Zoning, talked with a gentleman from Dodge City about setting up a horse racing operation in Harvey County. There is currently some horse racing occurring at a location south of Halstead on weekends. However, this is a totally different operation. Although there will not be pari-mutuel betting, it will still need to be sanctioned by the state gaming commission. The location of the proposed track is not yet known, but the gentleman prefers that it be on a paved road.

June 17, 2013: An item was added to the agenda. Commissioner Ron Krehbiel requested that the Commission hold a discussion about horse racing in the county.

June 17, 2013: John Waltner and Gina Bell, Planning & Zoning Director met with John Stutzman, Jay Sizemore, and a gentleman who organizes horse races at a location south of Halstead. The gentleman was informed that this is an activity that will require them to make an application for a conditional use permit. There is significant attendance at the races. More research will be done on this issue.

June 24, 2013: John reported that Gina Bell, Director of Planning & Zoning, continues to discuss some issues with the owner of a horse racing track south of Halstead. County planning and zoning regulations require that this type of operation be permitted, but at the current time it is not. Another racing event is scheduled there for July 6th.

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HALSTEAD, Kan.-- The Harvey County Regional Planning Commission is considering an application to legalize and permit a horse racing track in Halstead. Notices were sent out to homeowners in the neighborhood near 72nd Street and Hertzler Road.

"I was shocked to see the notice that there was going to be a hearing on it because it's been going on," said LouAnn Voth, neighbor.

People who live in the neighborhood are familiar with the noise, traffic, and the horse races at Carril El Tucan. Friends of the owner said it is a venue for horses to have practice runs.

"The horse races are what people in Mexico do for fun. It's just entertainment," said Ruth Jacob, neighbor.

Jacob said most people are not bothered by the race track. Others hope that the conditional use permit will not allow for further expansion of the popular venue.

"I don't think we would be opposed to the way it's run now but we would be definitely opposed if they want to put in spotlights and run through the night or have night time activities," said Voth.

If the conditional use permit is granted, the track will be able to operate as it has for the last six years. If it is denied, races will not be permitted on the track.

The public hearing is scheduled in the community room at the Harvey County Courthouse on April 8th at 7 p.m.


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