"We've got a lot of concerns about this and whether it's compatible with the surrounding uses," Baker Hostetler's Gregory Lee said during a community meeting hosted by the resort. "We're trying to get our arms around this today."
Board members for Encantada and five other Four Corners-area resorts and neighborhoods said they would oppose the variance when it goes to the Osceola County Board of Adjustment on Sept. 19.
Developer Andy Bardar has a contract on the 217-acre parcel at the southwest corner of W192 and the S.R. 429 beltway, GrowthSpotter first reported July 17. He wants to build a $100 million auto racing-themed tourist attraction that would include a go-kart track, a test track where tourists could drive high-performance sports cars and a private course for club members.
Planner Jim Hall of VHB spoke on behalf of the project during the community meeting. "First and foremost, it's not a racetrack," he said. He explained how the project would be designed to minimize the impact on nearby properties.
OMP would not allow professional racing vehicles or any type of motorcycles at the facility. The tourist attraction would provide a fleet of luxury performance cars, include four different models of Ferrari and Porsche. The fleet would also include a selection of Lamborghini, McLaren, Corvette, Aston Martin, BMW, Audi, Maserati, Ford, Dodge Hellcat, Nissan and Jaguar vehicles.
"I love this idea -- I want to be your customer. But please don't build it in my neighborhood," said Gabriel Knobeloch, who serves on the Oak Island Harbor HOA board.
The variance request and conceptual site plan go to the county's Development Review Committee on Sept. 6. Bardar's attorney, Wayne Rich, will make a presentation to the W192 Development Authority next week in an effort to get a resolution of support from that board.
Even with the noise walls, some neighboring properties will be impacted by the sound. According to the noise study, those sites already experience traffic noise and other ambient noise that exceeds the 55 decibel level limit established by the county's noise ordinance.
The county has received a handful of opposition letters, mostly from residents who would be impacted by the noise.
John Adams, a planner for Rj Whidden & Associates, represented Margaritaville Resort during the meeting. He said the resort developer is comfortable with the projected 65 decibel level at the property line. "They are comfortable and feel it would be an asset to the tourism corridor," Adams said.
County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, who attended the meeting, told residents she had not decided whether to support the variance request. Commissioners do not vote on variances, but they can speak during the public hearing. Any appeal would occur in Circuit Court.
"I don't want you to think that just because it's going to the Board of Adjustment, that it's a done deal," she said.