The Amador County Planning Commission held a public scoping session to review potential environmental impacts for a proposed motocross facility outside of Ione and heard from a large number of residents concerned over the proposed racetrack.

Meeting Tuesday night, the commission heard public comment for over an hour from members of the public who came to express their concerns over the motocross track proposed on US Mine property on Highway 124 just south of the Ione City limits. Two main areas of concern were brought up over and over again. First the generation of dust by the track. The property also contains a mining operation and dust generated by the bike could contain silica, which, if inhaled, can cause a host of potential health problems. The second major complaint was the noise generated by the track. Many residents expressed concerns that the track would lower their property values. Representatives from the City of Ione and the Foothill Conservancy also weighed in with their concerns, including possible impacts to traffic congestion and water quality. An earlier version of the Motocross track proposal included holding race events with up to ten thousand people in attendance. These large events were dropped from the application, but daily visits of up to fifty people are still included.

The motocross track had operated without permits last year, drawing noise complaints from neighbors. County officials ordered the track shut down in December of last year and it remains closed while the county considers the application to operate, which includes a general plan change, zoning change and use permit. 

The county will now use the comments received during the scoping session to prepare an Environmental Impact Report, a comprehensive review of all the potential impacts of the project and ways to address them. The project would then go before the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then the Board of Supervisors for final approval or denial.

Interested parties have until the end of the month to submit their comments to the county.