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Report: Homestead Miami Speedway at odds with city over planned subdivision

Ford EcoBoost 400

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 17: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row / Wonder Bread Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Homestead Miami Speedway officials have gone to court to reverse a proposed housing subdivision recently approved by the Homestead City Council, according to a report in The Miami Herald.

The proposed subdivision is located less than one mile away from the racetrack. According to The Herald report, HMS officials fear that if the subdivision goes forward, it could eventually lead to its eventual residents complaining about noise and traffic from track races and other events – and potentially lead to the track eventually closing.

As a result, the newspaper said track officials petitioned the appellate division of the circuit court to reverse the city council’s decision, which occurred in May.

“We are very similar to an airport,” HMS vice president Al Garcia told the Herald. “If residents move too close to us, they’ll start complaining about noise and traffic, and that will have an adverse effect on our business.”

Currently, according to The Herald, the area only has the nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base, a beer warehouse and a mixed-use business park between the racetrack and the nearest houses approximately a mile away.

HMS hosts a number of racing and non-racing events during the year, including the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend for all three of NASCAR’s premier series: Sprint Cup, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series.

According to The Herald report, track officials in their petition contend that the city altered established development stipulations that have differentiated between residential and industrial usage.

The track’s petition, The Herald reported, went on to say that by allowing houses to be built so close in an area called the Park of Commerce and without a significant buffer zone “creates compatibility issues due to the noise and traffic generated by racing and other activities at the Speedway. … For this reason, HMS has historically opposed any residential development in the Park of Commerce.”

The track petition added that it has “invested millions of dollars in infrastructure improvement, and millions more in marketing and promotion, to create and market a world-class sports-entertainment facility. The creation of a residential neighborhood in the Park of Commerce could lead to operational restrictions that adversely impact HMS’ investment.”

In an email to The Herald, Garcia noted: “As a chief economic engine producing annually over $301 million dollars in economic benefits to the community, we were left with no choice other than to appeal in order to protect the Speedway from excessive and imprudent ‘residential encroachment’ and overdevelopment that threatened to choke the Speedway and the well-paying job creating center for Homestead residents in the Park of Commerce.”

Homestead city attorney Richard Weiss told The Herald, “We are in the process of evaluating the petition and responding appropriately on the behalf of the city.”

Click here for the full Miami Herald report.