Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Holly Fesperman LeeSalisbury Post
SPENCER ó Third time’s a charm.
At least Dave Risdon hopes it will be.
Nine months after zoning board members asked Risdon to withdraw his application for High Rock Raceway because of incomplete information, he’s ready to give it another try.
The matter has come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment twice before ó most recently in November.
The public hearing to consider granting Risdon a conditional use permit for the racetrack basically stopped before it got started.
An attorney for The Trading Ford Historic District Preservation Association, a group that has strongly opposed the raceway, pointed out that many structures on the site plans weren’t labeled.
In November, Risdon said he’d fix whatever issues the town had with the application in an effort to move the raceway forward.
The new application Risdon submitted to the town earlier this month is much more detailed.
“The plan, it presents itself better now,” said Dustin Wilson, Spencer Land Management director. “From what I can tell, he’s hired a good engineer,” Wilson said. “He’s taken steps to take care of the issues that came about in the last hearing.”
Darrell Fruth, attorney for the Trading Ford group, noted in November that proposed condominiums weren’t labeled on the site plan and no legend was included to identify them.
The 126 condominiums, or race condos, Risdon is proposing are now clearly labeled along with other structures in phases I, II and III.
Grey Engineering Inc. of Mocksville is listed as the designer on site plans.
Phase I includes a road racing course surrounded by grassy areas. Structures include condos around the perimeter of the track as well as a concession area and public restrooms, a race control station, fuel station, public showers and restrooms, and a participant registration building.
The track and other Phase I structures are east of U.S. 29. Parking areas are west of the highway.
Phase II, Greene’s Crossing, is a proposed high end shopping center with restaurants. Phase III, Hidden Cove at High Rock, is planned as a residential subdivision.
Wilson wanted to be clear that all the town will consider at Thursday’s meeting is Phase I of Risdon’s plans.
“We wouldn’t be giving approval for Phase II or III. They’re strictly conceptual at this stage,” he said.
Wilson explained that Risdon will need to reapply for a conditional use permit for phase II and III later. There is no specific time line for the other two phases.
In addition to a detailed legend that gives basic information about each structure, a section of the plan gives more specific details.
For example the concession area and public restrooms is proposed as an 80-foot-by-120-foot enclosed structure that is 15 feet high. The one-story structure would total 9,600 square feet. The fuel station will be 20-by-40 feet and 18 feet high. That one-story structure would be 1,200 square feet, according to site plans.
The drawings also detail fencing, wooded areas, lighting designs and placement.
In Risdon’s proposal summary, he outlines the project like this: “High Rock is proposing a three phase project to be known as High Rock Raceway that will provide a 2.13 mile road course and 126 town home condominiums (race condos) in phase one, an upscale retail area in phase two and a residential area in phase three. This project represents an initial investment of $28 million into the local community and should bring substantial benefits to the area.
“Interest in reserving the race condos has been quite strong and if the Zoning Board of Adjustment approval is granted all lender requirements for construction funding will have been met.”
The Spencer Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear Risdon’s request on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Spencer Municipal Building.
Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or hlee@salisburypost.com.