Commission keeps raceway on track, despite code violations | NevadaAppeal.com

Commission keeps raceway on track, despite code violations

karen woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The Reno-Fernley Raceway is still on track for the season after the Lyon County Planning Commission declined to revoke its special use permit.

The raceway, owned by Toybox Enterprises, was alleged to be in violation of several building codes, but Nick Malarchik, Lyon County Building Department director, was opposed to the revocation of the special use permit.

“They are in violation of certain building codes,” he said. “But we don’t feel revocation is the best thing to do.”

Malarchik said that although an inspection in November showed the grandstand to be in compliance, the spectator deck above the grandstand was not certified to withstand winds common to the area.

He also said the raceway was not in compliance on some storage issues involving six commercial coaches on the property.

“Some things need to be cleaned up,” he said.

Malarchik said that rather than revoking the special use permit for the popular attraction, the problems should be resolved by the building department and the code enforcement officer. He said he was confident the issues would be addressed eventually.

“I’d like to say that they’re moving expeditiously, but they’re not,” he said. “It’s like pushing a rope, but we’ll get there.”

Malarchik noted that the raceway, now dormant for the off-season, was regularly filled with spectators in the spring and summer.

Rick Christian, of Denson Surveying, representing the raceway owners, said he wasn’t given a needed booklet on the codes until December.

Malarchik said the problems with the raceway could be averted if the owners followed the proper procedures.

“The primary problem with them is they start things without permits and then they get caught,” he said.

“If they would get the permits first, then get the designs approved, we wouldn’t have this.”

Commissioner Chuck Roberts acknowledged there was little political will in the county to revoke the special use permit of the popular raceway.

“If the county is sincere about bringing them in to compliance, they do have other legal remedies,” he said.

Malarchik supported tougher measures against the raceway.

“I think we need to take a harder stand,” he said. “Revoke the business license and put a chain across the property.”

The commission voted 4-1 not to revoke the special use permit. Commissioner Ken Gardner said he voted against the motion on principle, because the raceway hadn’t been following the rules.

“If you don’t like the rules, change the rules,” he said. “But until they are changed, then play by the damn rules.”

The Fernley-Reno Raceway offers all types of auto racing, including drag, a paintball course, a shooting range, gun club, archery range, concerts and entertainment shows, a driving school and some skateboard and bicycle events.

n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.