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Council approves creation of pilot project for Pacific Raceways site


Legislation provides clear guidelines for Council oversight on potential future use of the facility


The Metropolitan King County Council today approved legislation regarding the future of Pacific Raceways, approving a demonstration project that would allow expansion of the Raceways pursuant to a negotiated development and operations agreement.

“This is a project that will bring jobs and economic growth to the region without costing taxpayers,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, the prime sponsor of the legislation. “The improvements to Pacific Raceways will be an economic boost to the region and provide safe clean fun for those who enjoy motor sports.”

“The proposed upgrade of Pacific Raceways has the potential to bring jobs and economic development to the region, but it must be done in a way that is sensitive to the needs of surrounding residents and the environment,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. “We have spent a great deal of time working with stakeholders to develop a permitting process that balances those concerns.”

The majority of the property on the 327-acre site is zoned "Industrial," with a property-specific development condition restricting the use of the property to racing and race-related activities. The current development and activities at Pacific Raceways are governed by two conditional use permits. The owners of the property desire to upgrade the facility to include new uses, and residents living near the Raceways have expressed their concerns on what expansion would do to their communities.

The legislation adopted today by the Council does not approve any expansion of Pacific Raceways. The ordinance directs the County Executive to initiate a demonstration project with a specific timeline for examining ways to streamline the permitting process for the facility, while at the same time protecting the environment.

The legislation also calls for greater opportunities for community input and more defined parameters of any future development projects involving the Raceways.

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