CONCORD, N.C. -- When city leaders voted Monday night to deny Lowe’s Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith a drag strip he was planning to build, the billionaire said he would be willing to spend $350 million to shut down the racetrack and move it somewhere else.
The Concord City Council heard from neighbors living near the site of the proposed drag strip who said it would be too noisy, disrupting their sleep and lowering property values. They agreed and put the brakes on the plans.
Neighbors were pleased with the ruling, but following Smith’s threat to relocate somewhere else in the Charlotte area, they say they are worried that a compromise to keep the track could include buying their homes.
"I think it’s completely unfair. You don’t have a right to buy out somebody’s houses,” speedway neighbor Sarah Litaker said. ”Even though there’s a price for it, this is our environment and where I grew up and where I went to school and there’s so many memories associated with this.”
The sound from the drag strip would most affect a couple of hundred homes in two Concord neighborhoods.
News 14 Carolina called Lowe’s Motor Speedway about the possibility of buying people’s homes to make room for the drag strip, but those calls have not been returned.