Residents revved up over dirt track

Neighbors fault Rotterdam officials with not enforcing town code

Neighbors of a parcel of land at Maple Street and Wedgewood Heights in Rotterdam are calling for the sound of silence, or at least a stop to the constant drone of dirt bikes and ATVs from sunrise to sunset.

For the second time in eight months, residents brought their concerns about the dirt track to the Town Board at the Wednesday, Sept. 8, meeting, and asked why town officials were not enforcing the town code requiring a permit to operate what they are calling a racetrack.

It doesn't take eight months for these member of the board to decide what one definition means, said Phillip Hurst, who lives on Dodge Street near the track. "There is 43 years of legal precedence on this particular town code, it didn't just come into being last week. This has been on the books for a long time, and three-quarters of the town does not have racetracks."

Marc Della Villa owns the Light Industrial-zoned land at Maple Street and Wedgewood Heights tat is being used as a track for dirt bikes and ATVs. On May 13, residents met with Rotterdam Town Supervisor Frank Del Gallo, Councilman Matt Martin and Deputy Town Attorney Michael Godlewski to discuss concerns about the noise and dust coming from the site, but the situation has remained unchanged.

Hurst said he has given the Town Board video and photographic evidence showing individuals racing in front of an audience, as well as a petition signed by neighbors of the track, but nothing has been done to address the issue.

"You haven't answered anything. That is negligent; you're not doing anything about it," Hurst told town officials Wednesday. "Two hours of this board's time could solve this matter."

Del Gallo said the town code regarding the track is too broad to enforce, and he said if the contested property is to be considered a racetrack, then several other residents would be found in violation of the current code.

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