Champion Speedway races to the finish |

Champion Speedway races to the finish

Robyn Moormeister

The thunderous roar of race cars may soon be drowned out by the silence of suburban neighborhoods in South Carson City.

Two development companies are proposing a change to land use on 150 acres surrounding Racetrack Road – including Champion Speedway – that would limit development to single-family subdivisions.

“It’s purely a property-owner and developer-driven venture,” said Carson City Principal Planner Lee Plemel.

He said Sacramento company Reynen and Bardis is one of two development companies that has approached the city with plans buy up the land, including the racetrack, and change zoning to build 500 subdivided homes.

Representatives from Reynen and Bardis and Matrix Engineering, a consultant firm representing the other unnamed company, would not confirm their clients’ interest in the land.

But Bob Becker, head of new development for Reynen and Bardis, said company representatives will attend a public workshop Tuesday for residents living around the proposed development.

Plemel said city planners will also attend the workshop, as well as representatives from both interested development companies.

City staff is proposing to create a “specific plan area” for the 150-acres, which would become part of Carson City’s new master plan.

Racetrack owner Larry Burton said he has been approached by three potential buyers within the last year, and he will sell by the end of next year.

“Who knows what (potential buyers) want to do with it?” Burton said. “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

In the meantime, he said, the racetrack will operate for another year.

Burton would not reveal his asking price for the property or the offer amounts.

Carson City Assessor Dave Dawley said Burton’s 26-acre property is valued with its current land use at $255,000, but if the zoning is changed to single-family subdivision, each parcel could be sold for $100,000.

Burton’s land, he estimated, has the potential to sell for more than $2 million. Plemel said Burton’s racetrack has been the subject of noise complaints over the years, but the city has no desire to bid farewell to the speedway.

“The city is not taking a position on this,” Plemel said. “We’re not sure everyone’s going to be pleased with (the zoning proposal).”

He said 26 residents have received notices of the public workshop and land-use change proposal.

The workshop’s purpose, he said, is to inform the neighborhood of the fledgling development plans and to solicit residents’ comments.

Those comments will be forwarded to the Carson City Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, and the city boards will hold a series of public hearings where it will review the application.

He said no formal action will be taken at the workshop, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Fremont Elementary School’s multipurpose room, 1511 Fire Box Road.

Contact Plemel with questions regarding the workshop at 887-2188, ext. 1003, or

If you go:

What: Zoning


When: 7 p.m.


Where: Fremont Elementary School’s multipurpose room, 1511 Fire Box Road

Contact: 887-2188, ext. 1003, or

Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at or 881-1217.