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Newton County BOC approves go-kart, RC car track

COVINGTON — Monroe resident Dan Moore received approval from the Newton County Board of Commissioners to open a go-karts and radio-controlled cars track facility at 350 Old Oxford Road.

County commissioners amended the zoning ordinance to allow go-kart facilities in certain areas with a conditional use permit in August because of the inquiry made by Moore of Atlanta Gran Prix Karting.

Moore returned to the commissioners on Tuesday requesting the conditional use permit. Moore, a former resident of Rockdale and Newton counties, told commissioners in September he was looking at three sites for his facility but said he would not reveal the selected location until the property was under contract. The contract was necessary before he could apply for a conditional use permit.

The Planning Commission’s only concern presented to the BOC was with regard to the hours of operation since a church is located across from the site selected by Moore.

Commissioner Nancy Schulz said when Moore first approached the board about opening go-kart facilities the initial concern was noise.

“Since you’re so close to the interstate, this changes that concern and I think it’s a very appropriate area,” Schulz said.

St. Andrews Charismatic Episcopal Church is located at 375 Old Oxford Road. Moore said he talked to a representative from the church about the hours and agreed to be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1-6 p.m. on Sundays.

“This will be a test location for my market. The cost of getting up and running will be a lot less than originally planned, and I want to make sure it’s something we can do successfully before opening other locations,” Moore said.

He plans to open the facility by April with a .5-mile go-kart track.

Moore said the go-karts would run about 50 mph and drivers would be required to wear helmets. Because of the speed of the karts, Moore noted drivers would have to be at least 16 years old.

“We’re going to have smaller karts for the children 8 years old and up, but they’d have to be given parental consent and undergo a class, but until we have that set up, we’d only offer the karts for 16-year-olds and up,” Moore said.

The facility will include a pavilion area for birthday parties, but his business model is to reach corporate businesses that want to focus on team-building.

“We’re going to be open to the public every day, but during the weekdays our focus will be for business team-building,” Moore said. “Go-kart racing is a new form of team-building that people are doing across the country. We hope to bring people in from metro Atlanta.”

The facility will also feature a radio-controlled cars track with a rock crawling section, dirt track and a drag strip. Moore said there will also be a sales and repair service center for the RC cars where people can purchase, rent or repair the cars and trucks.

Commissioner J.C. Henderson said he’s excited about the recreational facility.

“We’ve been talking about this for awhile and it’s going to be a great place where we can ride the go-karts safely without riding on the roads or in the back yard,” Henderson said. “It’s a better location, and I’m excited about it coming to the county.”