HUDSON — As Hudson Speedway gears up for its coming season, town officials are hoping to put the brakes on complaints about noise and illegal parking in the surrounding neighborhood well before opening day.
During Tuesday night’s meeting of the Hudson Board of Selectmen, the board voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the matter next month.
The board will meet on March 10 to hold a public hearing on amending the town code to reflect new operating hours for the busy racetrack, located at 120 Old Derry Road.
Discussions on the track’s escalating noise problems, as well as growing complaints about speedway guests parking along Old Derry, Robinson and Boyd roads, began in November.
Town Administrator Steve Malizia said he’s reached out to track owner Bob Webber and invited him to attend the upcoming hearing.Chairman Rick Maddox said he’s been in touch with Webber, who told him he’d be open to the idea of changing the track’s opening time from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. and closing at 10 p.m. instead of 10:45 p.m.
“I don’t think there will be any angst over this,” Maddox said this week.
Webber, who couldn’t be reached for comment, wasn’t present at this week’s meeting as he typically spends the winter months out of state.
The speedway closed down for the season in mid-October and will reopen for the 2014 season in April.
According to Maddox, Webber has previously made public announcements during races reminding guests that illegal parking along the roadways would result in a ticket, yet the problem gets worse every summer.
“There’s been some consternation over this for the past few years,” Selectmen Roger Coutu said. “People are parking on both sides of the roads.”
Coutu said he’s been in touch with the local police department and asked them to boost patrols on race evenings.
Hudson Road Agent Kevin Burns told selectmen he thought the best option might be posting some temporary “no parking” signs around the track’s perimeter each season or perhaps even posting a large, 4-by-4-foot sign on a permanent post.
“We could set it up so the post would remain in place but the sign itself could be taken down each winter,” Burns said. “Another option would be to paint some pavement markings along Robinson Road.”Last summer several of the track’s neighbors attended a selectmen’s meeting and raised their concerns.Speedway neighbor Shawn Jasper said the track has generally been a good neighbor in the past, but the noise of cheering crowds and revving engines has recently gotten louder.
“I don’t really mind it until after 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, when I’m trying to get some sleep before working Monday,” Jasper told selectmen.