New rules to ease Green Cove Dragway noise concerns

City Council votes unanimously to work with owner until he comes into compliance

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Green Cove Springs City Council voted unanimously at a special session Tuesday night to hold Green Cove Dragway at Reynolds Industrial Park to the terms of the track's special events permit that is in place until next May to ensure the owner comes into compliance and follows through on his commitment to work to ease noise concerns. 

Following the vote, Peter Scalzo, the owner of Green Cove Dragway, promised to handle the noise complaints by shutting down Friday night racing immediately and imposing a stop time of 10 p.m. on Saturday nights, even if the racing hasn't finished. 

The meeting was held after at least one Green Cove Springs resident complained about the noise at the dragway off Wildwood Road, which is busy on Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer. 

"There are more mitigating factors than just a few alleged noise complaints," said Doug Freeman, a Jacksonville resident. 

The city manager offered a report on the three-year history of the track, the agreements and special event permitting, as well as the other noise and compliance issues raised. 

"Me and my family, we come every weekend we can," said David Wade, a Putnam County resident who came to support the dragway.

Mayor Pamela Lewis emphasized that it's not about the entertainment, it's about following the laws. 

After the vote, Scalzo said he's committed to working out a long-term solution with the city so racers can continue to spend time on the track and with each other. 

"If there's an issue that I can have an extension cord here, then I got to the remove the extension cord. So the point is, whatever it takes. But you've got to let the resident or you've got to let the business owner know what they have to do. The city recognized that," Sclazo said. "I'm going to meet with the code enforcement officer tomorrow. He was a nice man doing his job. And we're going to to go over what I have to do. I'm going to do it."

The City Council will revisit the issue when the special permit for Green Cove Dragway expires in the spring. 

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