[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethel as Ch. 62 of the 1979 Code (Ch. 98 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
By the enactment of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Bethel declares its intent in so doing to be to regulate and control the operation of certain racetracks involving go-cart races, stock car races and similar racing events between motor vehicles, motorcycles, motor scooters, midget autos and other vehicles. This chapter is enacted in the interests of the inhabitants of the Town of Bethel so as to protect the life and property of persons in the vicinity of such events; to prevent unreasonable loud noises, dust and dirt sometimes produced by such tracks which could be detrimental to the peace, welfare and good order to the people of the Town of Bethel; and to prevent the disturbance of the peace and quiet of the Town from the operation of such tracks. In addition, it is the further purpose of the Town Board in enacting this chapter to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Town of Bethel. Therefore, recognizing the above and the need for regulating the racetracks above described and in the exercise of its police power in these regards, the Town Board of the Town of Bethel does hereby enact the following chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any individual, association, partnership, corporation or other body, group or unit or combination thereof.
- Any real property, other than water bodies, containing an area or track located in the Town of Bethel upon which races, contests or demonstrations of skill or stunts are conducted for the enjoyment or entertainment of the public or for the gratification of the contestants, which employ horses or other animals, or motorized vehicles, including go-carts, stock cars, motor scooters, midget autos, motorcycles, trucks, tractors, snowmobiles, ATVs or other vehicles propelled by a force other than human energy.
No person shall operate in the Town of Bethel any racetrack, as defined herein, without possessing a permit to operate the same as hereinafter provided.
Any person desiring to operate a racetrack, as defined herein, in the Town of Bethel may apply to the Town Board thereof for a permit therefor. Each such applicant shall execute under oath an application for such permit, to be supplied to him by the Town Clerk, containing the following information:
That he is a citizen of the United States over 21 years of age.
Whether he has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
Whether he has had any previous experience in the operation of racetracks, as defined herein, and such other facts or evidence as are deemed necessary to establish that he is a person fit, qualified and capable of operating a racetrack, as defined herein, so as to protect the safety, health, morals and welfare of the Town and its inhabitants.
A description of the type of racetrack he intends to operate.
The number of employees he intends to employ.
The name and address of the owner or owners of the land and the nature of his right of occupancy.
A statement that, if granted the permit applied for, he will operate the racetrack pursuant to the regulations hereinafter set forth and that, upon his failure to do so, such permit may be revoked forthwith.
[Amended 8-18-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
The application for a permit under this section shall be referred to the Town Board for review, which shall, within 30 days of the submission of a complete permit application and nonrefundable fee, schedule a public hearing. No public hearing shall be scheduled until the permit application is complete and the application fee is paid.
The permit fee shall be as set forth in the most current fee schedule of the Town as may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
The applicant must serve a copy of the legal notice of the public hearing to all property owners within 500 feet of the property boundary of the premises that is the subject of the permit application. Such service shall be by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least seven days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. The applicant will provide affidavits of service and/or the signed return receipt cards to the Town Board at the commencement of the public hearing.
Within 20 days of the close of the public hearing, the Town will render a decision as to grant or deny the permit application. In the event that the Town fails to issue a permit or deny the permit application within 20 days of the close of the public hearing, the application will be deemed denied. The Town and the applicant may mutually agree to extend any of the time periods set forth in this section.
In the event that a permit is issued by the Town Board under the requirements of this chapter:
The Town Board may include any reasonable conditions in the permit as it deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public;
Such permit shall be effective from the date of its issuance until the 31st day of December of the year of its issuance, after which time the permit will be deemed expired and future operation of the racetrack will be subject to a new permit;
Such permit may not be transferred or assigned to any other person; and
Such permit may be amended, suspended, or revoked by the Town of Bethel upon the consent of the permittee, or after a public hearing held on due notice to the permittee, who shall have an opportunity to participate fully at said hearing. The permit may be amended, suspended or revoked upon a finding by the Town Board that the permittee:
Submitted a permit application that contained a material misrepresentation of fact;
Violated a material provision of the permit;
Violated a material provision of any noise permit issued in connection with operation of the racetrack.
The permittee must personally operate, manage and be responsible for the operation of the racetrack in accordance with the performance standards included herein for which the permit is granted.
The permittee shall at all times maintain in full force and effect a public liability insurance policy in amounts of not less than $1,000,000 for damages in which one person is killed or injured and not less than $2,000,000 for damages in which more than one person is killed or injured. Such policy shall bear an endorsement thereon extending the benefits thereof to the interest of the Town of Bethel, as they may appear or as they may subsequently be determined to exist.
[Amended 8-18-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
The permittee may operate the racetrack only during the months, days and times of day set forth in the permit. In the absence of any such designation in the permit, the racetrack shall operate only during the months of June, July and August, and only on Saturdays and national holidays between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
The permittee shall not at any time allow the operation of the racetrack for which the permit is granted to be conducted in such a manner as to cause unreasonably loud or disturbing noises of such a character, intensity or duration as to be detrimental to the peace, welfare or good order of the people of the Town of Bethel or in such manner as to cause disturbing, noisy, riotous or tumultuous conduct within the Town. Loudspeakers, announcing devices, horns and other noise-producing devices shall not at any time be operated in such manner as to disturb the occupants of the premises in the vicinity of the racetrack and shall be so toned down or subdued that the sound therefrom shall so conform to the performance standards included herein.
The permittee shall not at any time allow the operation of the racetrack for which the permit is granted to be conducted in such a manner as to allow the creation and dispensing through the air to the adjoining areas of the Town of noxious odors, fumes, smoke or dust of such density or concentration as to be detrimental to the health, peace, welfare and good order of the people of the Town or as to hurt, destroy or deface the property of the inhabitants of the Town. If any event is being conducted at any time upon the racetrack for the operation of which a permit has been issued hereunder when the ground or surface of the track or of the approaches thereto is so dry as to cause dirt or dust to be stirred up, either by the racing vehicles or by vehicles transporting spectators to or from the racetrack, and to be blown or to drift to adjacent areas, the permittee shall sprinkle the track and its approaches with water or other substance so as to settle such dust or dirt to conform with the performance standards included herein.
The following are the performance standards, continued compliance with which, as set forth below, is required and shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer. The determination of the existence of any dangerous and objectionable elements shall be made at:
Standards for specific elements.
Particulate matter shall not exceed two pounds per acre of lot in any one hour.
No vibration shall be perceptible at lot lines.
The emission of toxic matter is prohibited.
Perceptible odorous matter shall be prohibited at the lot line.
Heat, glare and radiation shall not be objectionable at the lot line and shall be reduced as far as practicable.
Noise. Any person filing an application under this Chapter 249 must also file an application for a permit under Chapter 220, Noise. No permit application filed under Chapter 249 will be granted until a permit application under Chapter 220 is complete and reviewed by the Town Board. The Town Board, in its sole discretion, may combine any public hearings on the respective permit applications and issue a combined permit subject to both Chapter 220 and Chapter 249.
Any person who operates a racetrack in the Town of Bethel without having applied for and been granted a permit to operate the same pursuant to the provisions hereof, and any person granted a permit hereunder who commits or allows any offense against any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be deemed to have committed a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Conviction for any above-mentioned violation shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of the permit.
Any person violating this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty enforceable and collectible by the Town in the amount of $100 for each such offense. Such penalty shall be collectible by and in the name of the Town.
In addition to the above-provided penalties and punishment, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding in the name of the Town in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of such chapter.