Farm Owners Want Motocross Race; Neighbors Don’t Want Noise, Traffic
By Mike Perleberg
(Ohio County, Ind.) – A battle among a handful of Ohio County neighbors concerning a proposed motocross event has local officials divided on whether to allow the competition to take place.
Rod and Kay Ballart own and live on more than 300 acres situated on South Fork Road in the quiet, rural hills of western Ohio County. Last September, the couple and their son, Rand Ballart, attempted to host the Indiana Cross Country Racing series on their farm for a weekend event.
However, neighboring property owners caught word of the planned event, which would have brought hundreds of people, dozens of vehicles, and the noise of dirt bikes and four-wheelers to their country setting.
Two days before the Ballarts were to host the event, neighbors were able to obtain an emergency injunction from Ohio County Circuit Court Magistrate Kim Schmaltz prohibiting it. Schmaltz ruled that the Ballarts had not obtained the proper permit to host such a large event.
“We had people coming from Oklahoma, Virginia, Michigan and at the last minute we had to tell them it wasn’t going to happen,” says Rand Ballart, a South Dearborn Middle School science teacher.
TELL US IF YOU THINK THE OHIO COUNTY BZA SHOULD ALLOW THIS EVENT TO BE HELD OR NOT ON EAGLE 99.3′S FACEBOOK PAGE.
Rand and his mother both concede that they should have had the permit. So, in January they applied for a special exception through the Ohio County Board of Zoning Appeals in hopes of being allowed to host the IXCR this year on October 11 and 12.
A hearing about the permit brought a large crowd to the BZA hearing on the permit application. The five-member BZA voted 2-1 to allow the permit, however, the vote was not the necessary quorum needed to grant the permit. One BZA member abstained, another was not present, and BZA President Irvin McKinley only votes in the event of tiebreakers.
Soon afterwards, the Ballarts again applied to the BZA for the permit. On March 27, a hearing with an even larger, standing room-only crowd of citizens both for and against the IXCR event in Ohio County appeared. After hearing concerns from the audience, the members again voted 2-1 with one member absent and McKinley against remaining in his tiebreaker role.
The following day, the Ballarts applied for the special exception for a third time based on an appeal of its legality, says Kay Ballart. A hearing on that application is currently scheduled before the BZA on April 24.
Billy Kinnett has been among those leading the charge against the motocross event. He doesn’t live on South Fork Road, but is a resident of Ohio County. His parents, however, do live on that road and have property adjacent to the Ballarts.
“I’m afraid they may break down the system and eventually get it approved,” Kinnett says of the Ballarts’ repeated applications.
Kinnett worries about the affect such a large event with its noise, sanitation concerns, and high traffic volume may have on his elderly parents.
McKinley, the BZA president who says he would vote against the permit in the event of a tiebreaker, agrees citing concerns about the traffic on the narrow county roads. He says the Ohio County has never had a situation like this come up before.
“All the neighbors are against it. I don’t know how we could allow it with that being the case,” he says.
McKinley says that the BZA may consider putting a limit on how many times a person can request the same permit in a span of time.
But Rand Ballart says he and his parents have addressed the BZA’s questions about hosting the IXCR, calling the event a great opportunity for visitors to come see Ohio County. He said the two-days of racing are a family-friendly event with racing by children as young as four-years-old. The IXCR would provide its own basic EMTs.
Kay Ballart said racing will end at 6:00 p.m. each night and will be away from neighboring property. Parking will be on the Ballarts property, not the road, she said.
“At least let us try this for those who enjoy doing it,” Kay asks.
The debate appears to be boiling down to the rights of property owners versus the rights of their neighbors.
“Why can’t I use my land the way I want to when you use yours the way you like?” Rand Ballart asked. “It’s frustrating. We’re not being injurious or hurting anybody.”
First of all, Mr. Ballart's remark that "We're not being injurious or hurting anyone" is erroneous. I live near a motocross track in another state and I can tell you it IS INURIOUS to your sanity when they are riding. It's nothing short of the sound of 20 chainsaws running at full throttle outside your window. And these jokers ride for HOURS on end with no respect to the fact that they are impeding on YOUR lifestyle. I am all for people enjoying their sport and kids having fun....but when it creates a racket that interferes with another's fun, then it's up to the "injurious" party to do something about it. In other words, Mr. Ballart, perhaps YOU should be the one looking into sound barriers, muffler silencers and any addressing any other concerns the neighbors may have. I am speaking from experience. Our neighborhood is torn apart and in legal battles over this exact same issue.
Has anybody ever been to a motocross event?. My son and neighbors ride. I have spent long weekends at such events. It is not a wild and crazy party. Most of the riders are in bed by 11:00 pm. because they have to get up to do practices. The events are family friendly. A lot of the family members bring their campers and tents. You don't have to have camp fires to camp. This family is trying to be responsible and do the right thing. I thing it's embarrassing the way people jump to alcohol and drugs. This is a sporting event were kids take racing seriously. Not to get off the subject. I had a Grad party for my son on a Sat. and had friends that play in a band provide the entertainment. I had the police show up 3 times because of loud noise and complaints from 1 neighbor. Last time the police showed up was 9 pm at night. Give me a break it's not like we have a party at the house every weekend. The band stopped at 11 pm. I few friends spent the night and we sat around a camp fire. From experience 1 neighbor can be a pain in your ass.
The comments on this story are so embarrassing for anyone from eagle country. Motocross is a family sport, and not a cheap one at that. These racers spend their hard earned money traveling the state to do something they enjoy. For people to call them trashy and comment about crimes that haven't even been committed is ridiculous. To stereotype like people are on this thread shows the kind of neighbors the Ballart's have in Ohio County. Whether the race happens or not I really just feel bad for the impressionable kids reading these comments and thinking this is how adults are supposed to act online.
According to Mr. McKinley, President of the BZA, " All the Neighbors are against it. I don't know how we could allow it with that being the case." ( quote above ). as for saying neighbors have a personal vendetta against your parents, I don't understand. You stated your parents did not get a water easement for service to their property. Could it be the vendetta is held by your parents and that is why they are sticking it to the neighbors. Perception is everything. Just saying. Why don't you locate a piece of property in the proper zoning and have your event without all the drama?
We have zoning laws for a reason. The access roads to the site were not designed to handle the traffic. There will be accidents requiring EMT, burdening the county’sresources. The local residents do not want the pollution, noise, exhaust gas, trash, human waste etc. Crime will most likely be a component of this event, requiring additional law enforcement to address.
The impact to local residents is far greater than the inconvenience to the event host. Residents have the right to expect the tranquilly of their surroundings is not disturbed. Local farmers should not be compromised moving equipment due to traffic congestion caused by this event.
Camping onsite is also proposed. Will alcohol and drugs be a component? I expect they will and intoxicated people do very dumb things. As a result injuries and crime will strain the county resources. These machines will run late into the evening disturbing residents while the campers have fun at the expense of the locals. Where will the fire department be? Camping requires a camp fire and what happens if any go unattended.
It seems this event was not thought through and should not take place. The burden placed on the local residents and the county resources outweighs any benefit of this event. Zoning laws and public hearings are in place to avoid bad decisions for all.
Why is there all the name calling? The bottom line is that there are zoning regulations that protect property owners from indiscriminate mis-use of the land inside certain zones. If someone wants to have friends over to ride motorbikes for a weekend then OK, however, if they are having a money making event and the impact on the neighborhood is detrimental to the quality of life to the neighbors, who unanimously oppose the event, then the zoning restrictions should prevail.
I wonder if any of the people raising an uproar have businesses. Do they have all the legal permits if they do? Are they paying taxes on the Goods Sold, personal property taxes? The only people I see saying anything are the ones to lazy to get off their butt and take a chance. Welcome Race Fans to Communist Ohio County, where the poor work, and the Jealous and Lazy try to stop progress.
Indiana leads in methamphetamine cases. Meth is killing our kids daily. My point is, we need more access for recreation.
Motorcyclist donate more time and money to charity than almost any one.
Have the disgruntled neighbors ever been to an off road motorcycle race?
What I'd like to propose is a one time permit so every one could experience an event like this.
Perhaps a nice donation could be made to the local fire department in the neighbors name, that might help smooth things out.
I feel if the neighbors came out and saw all the little kids riding, the teenagers riding, the adults riding, they might just change their mind about a little noise on their neighbors land once a year.
I've seen events like this bring neighbors closer together and the fire department rich. I've also seen neighbors torn apart, and that does not make good neighbors for either side.
Riding dirt bikes is not a terrible thing, please give us a chance.
These races are held almost every weekend in Indiana over the summer. Why not visit a race or call and talk to the people who live in the area and get there opinion on what happen in there area. Most of the events are held on small county roads and yet have i seen any traffic problem after 4 years of racing. I understand your concern of what might happen and I appreciate that. But what you are complaining about really is not a factor. The tracks are well marked and there are men through out the woods that sweep the track and make sure everyone is ok and on course. Open you eyes and see what you are upset about is really nothing but a benefit to your community.
Please open your eyes and see what we are trying to do is good clean fun!! Its not like we are asking to put the Indy 500 in your backyard or grow weed!! AND ITS ONLY ONE WEEKEND A YEAR AND IN SOME CASES IT ONLY A ONE DAY EVENT. RACING WILL BE OVER BY DINNER TIME AND WITH 300 ACRES YOU WONT EVEN HEAR THAT MUCH.
Its their land, they can do what they what. They paid for it, they pay the taxes. If you don't like what they are doing on THEIR land, buy it or shut up. America has become a bunch of whiners and Losers. Its their land, their choice and their freedom to do what they want.
The problem is not with the racers or the race company. I fully believe that it is mostly a family friendly event. The neighbors do not want the disturbance, especially during hunting season. If the majority of neighbors are against granting a special exception for the noise and increased traffic hazards, why would the BZA even consider granting it? I think you will find that most of the land owners in Ohio County own and use quads and dirt bikes, UTV's etc for their enjoyment, hunting and general farm use and are not opposed to weekend recreational riding. However, a RACE is a much different set of circumstances.
I do not race but my son does, he is 12. He has a love for the sport.. I used to coach football and baseball. When he came to me and said he didn't want to play them anymore and he wanted to race, I was shocked... we did some research, went to a few races, met the families, and now we are on our third year of racing on a national level. Do not judge what you don't understand. Educate yourself before making a decision. Without the proper information, your decision is based on beliefs that are unfounded and selfish.
I understand it is their land and all but what about the surrounding neighbors that spend their family time (just as you all say its a family sport) hunting. Teaching their children to respect and live off the land not destroy it. There wont be a deer in sight for many, many miles after this event rips through the area during deer season I might add. Also, how are they going to keep riders off of neighboring properties? Put up a little sign saying don't go this way? Yet, is there going to be someone there to enforce the boundaries throughout this 300 acres. Finally, even though this event is to be held in Ohio Country, the argument that the community would benefit from this is far from true in my opinion. It is too far away from any place of business in Ohio County, maybe a few in Switzerland County but I doubt very many would be visiting the town of Rising Sun.
its just like any other town or county. you have our select few people that think they can run and tell everyone what they can or cant do on there property. my son rides dirt bikes and I know some of my neighbors hate it but I don't care I pay my taxes. let them do the race it for the kids . good luck hillbillly
Let them have the event. Frankly that is almost to the point of being absurd that someone can tell you what to do or not do on your own land just because you don't like motorcycles and young people or that type of activity. We all have different likes and dislikes. Let them prove themselves and see how it goes. The kids just want to have areas to ride, and putting a stop to it kind of gives the local area a bad reputation. Would you rather have them riding in areas that are not legal to ride in?? They are paying money to be in the event and the could be doing worse things. It's not like its that noisy either. The local business will appreciate the boost also. This is ONE WEEKEND folks!
Not only should they allow it but I think they should compensate the Ballarts for any income they lost. It's their land. They should be able to do with it whatever they like. Good Luck Rod, Kay and Rand!
They should be allowed to hold the event. Look, it will bring people and money into the county. This would be a great weekend for businesses to have an open house and introduce Ohio County to the world. It would be a great time for the people in the country to hold a yard sale.
Kids need to learn how to enjoy the outdoors. Ohio County is a beautiful county. How many of you have driven down the country roads in Ohio County. It would be a great time to show the world just how beautiful Ohio county is.
The Ballard's are good people who have always donated their time to KIDS. Give them a chance to hold the event and see if it goes well. Mr. Ballard coached my son in football and my son has a lot of respect for him. Give him the chance!!!
Funny how a guy who doesn't live near this activity is able to stop. "All the neighbors are against it" but he is the one that is speaking up. Why not the people who don't want it. People like this is why your rights are going the way side. I would be placing my order for 300 hogs now
I don't think they should be allowed to do it myself. People moved out there so they wouldn't be bothered by the loud noise and traffic like in the cities. They have a right to that. It stated that people from all over the country were coming for the last one. Ohio County is not that big even if it is on their land the traffic coming in and out for that would be a nightmare...especially for residents going to and from work and the store etc. Nobody is saying they can't do what they want with their own land. They can ride bikes, atv's and whatever else they want to on their property but they want to have thousands of people they don't even know racing bikes on that land. A few bikes, atv's and the like nobody would even notice but everyone will be subjected to the noise of thousands of racers. Go to a track designated for it if you want to race, don't disrupt everyone's lives around you for it.
This is pathetic but since it is Ohio County.....I am not surprised! People in this county tend to push away anything that might bring money into the town of Rising Sun or other areas. This event might actually fill up the new hotel! Unfortunately status quo has always been satisfactory in Ohio County. WHAT IS A 2 DAY EVENT GOING TO HURT? It's not like another Lawrenceburg Speedway is getting built in rural Ohio County!! I am sure if these people were more well known in the community there would be much less of a struggle. Ohio County is about who you are and where you come from!!!
this is a rural, agriculture area. It is not zoned for this type of an event. The reason people live in this
area is for that reason. Peace and quite. Why should the neighbors feeling, or rights be compromised?
So I vote No to this event.
Someone is properly reading between the lines and able to see that the problem isn't with the racers or racing in general.
I love it when free speech is intentionally abused to dispel mistruths, drive unlikely hypotheticals and just stir up fear. Most of the items you brought up either do not occur, have been addressed or are unfounded. If you read the previous comments your arguments do not hold merit. If this sport had the unlikely scenarios you proposed then it wouldn't survive nor flourish as it is currently doing. Go to an event and you will see it as a family event that is well prepared and coordinated with the landowners and local community.
@Bewildered2 However, it is NOT unanimously opposed too...there are people who LIVE on South Fork Rd that are IN FAVOR of it, and there are other neighbors who BORDER our property who are not for or against it, they don't really care either way as long as we do not get on their property. However, there are TWO neighbors who have made noise (mostly with false statements or half-truth statements) to surrounding neighbors to create this. They have a personal vendetta against my parents, the one mainly because my parents bought a piece of property that the property's previous landowner would NOT sell to them because they were always trespassing and hunting on his land. The other is because my parents ask for a water easement for the water company to run water to my parents property on South Fork. My parents property is the ONLY property that is LIVED on that does not have city water. Sorry to get on a tangent, but NOT EVERYONE on South Fork Rd is against this event...Rand Ballart
@trailridercharlie ...that is all we are asking for Charlie, let us do it and see what the results are...We are NOT asking for multiple weekends but rather ONE weekend out of the year.
Good point on disturbing the hunting. I hunt on the neighboring property and guess what...I sure as heck know where the deer won't be...on the Ballarts farm. Maybe they will be on mine! It's their property. Let them do what they want. Most of the neighbors don't even live here full time. This country has became full of a bunch of jack-knobs.
@concernedneighbor First of all, the deer aren't going to go anywhere. As far as keeping people off of the neighboring properties: There is a course marked and the riders follow it. Remember this is a timed race, NOT some free for all. There are plenty of people that will be traveling through Rising Sun that weekend. WE try to support the local businesses everywhere we go. The grocery stores and gas stations are the ones who benefit the most. Believe me, if you knew the type of people that compete in these events your opinion would be very different. From the 4 yr old's up to the 60+, this is a group of people that you would be happy to call friends.
As far as coming on neighboring property we follow arrows and they are set up by G.P.S. so we won't be near anyone's property we are not supposed to be on. And the deer situation, I've seen many a deer on the last lap of races so we don't run them off any more than the shotgun blast does.
Actually, there are track markers along the course to help ensure that we don't get off track. It's in our best interest to not stray from the course for it adds time to our lap times. We also stay in the hotels, visit the restaurants and gas stations that are closest to the site. I don't hunt, but I do usually see wildlife while racing and casual trail riding.
Also if one wants to argue that its their land and they should be able to do what they want...why aren't you fighting for the people who live in town and aren't allowed to have livestock? It is their land they should be allowed to have a pig or two and a horse in their back yard right? Let the neighbors complain. No one cares, until they become the neighbors then things may change.
@Michelle OLaughlin Michelle, we do these events all over the state on private ground. Many have roads far smaller, and worse than the roads in Ohio county. We understand your concerns and while they are valid, they're also formed without any knowledge of how these things are run. The IXCR is a professionally operated series. Traffic concerns will be negligible, and are far less troublesome than someone driving large farm implements on the same road. As far as the number of racers, I can assure you it will not be "thousands". The GNCC doesn't even draw like that. Give us a chance to show you what this sport is truly about. If the permit is granted, I encourage you and your family to come see for yourself. Walk around and talk to the racers, young and old. Your opinion of us will change for the better.
@Michelle OLaughlin Do you honestly think "thousands" of racers will be racing all at the same time? Do your research on such events. During the Ohio County 4-H fair there have been several events that can be heard all the way out 262 and on Dutch Ridge, this event doesn't seem much different!
i'm not sure i understand, how can you say no one is telling them they can't do what they want with/on the land they bought and paid for, but the opening statement you made was "I don't think they should be allowed to do it myself"
By using the word "Allowed" Makes it sound as if someone would let them, or not let them do it, unless of course, i am not understanding it correctly.
Mrs. OLaughlin, I respect your opinion, but I would like to say that we are not talking about thousands of people or 1000's of atv's, motorcycles, etc...these races average 100-150 entries and about 200 or so spectators depending the venue. Again, while I respect your opinion, your facts are not correct, and again, its TWO days out of the year, not a weekly event...Rand Ballart
@solitude So, lets say i buy a piece of property in the area, and i want piece and quiet, but now it's farming season, and i decide, i really don't like the sound of that tractor in the field, does that mean i should be able to tell that farmer that he can't plow and plant his field because i'm looking for piece and quite?
Also to go one step farther, i move buy a piece of property and a few weeks later i notice a smell from the animals down the road, i decide i don't like that smell, and now that person is not "Allowed" To raise pigs/cows or whatever it might be. do you feel that's fair?
@solitude but is is okay to have a casino there, certainly that doesn't add any traffic
@solitude Following this logic, I am going to go demand my neighbor stop mowing his lawn every Saturday morning. I didn't move out here to here some guy ruin my precious peace and quiet every Saturday. Why should my feeling or rights be compromised.
So I vote no to weekly Saturday morning lawn mowing.
@uneedreality Oh, that's an intelligent reply. Do you live within earshot of the track?
The community is not on board. The majority of residents do not want this, hence the reason for this debate. Safe family venues such as Kings Island, WEBN fireworks, etc are family friendly and look at the need for all the police and EMT's. Now put this in a rural area that uses volunteers with limited resources and limited access.
There are two ways in and out and we know how narrow the roads are. 20 additional vehicles would be significant and hundreds is just unacceptable.
The negatives outweigh the positives.
@ELVISCADILLAC I think some of you are against anyone that makes a few bucks off of their property. Maybe they'll turn the place into a huge hog farm. Bet the neighbors would love that stench 24-7-365. This is a Saturday afternoon and a Sunday. Done by 4:30.
Can they absolutely guarantee no one will go off course? Doubtful. Although it is possible that some might stay in Ohio County its not probable due to the larger choices in the surrounding areas. As for the wildlife, most out here are not accustomed to large crowds and lots of loud noise and would leave the area. So if you were to see a deer on or around the course you wouldn't be seeing that same deer again. In the end it won't be my say as to whether the event happens or not. They get the permit they need then there is nothing I can do about it.
First off. This whole argument is null and void bc people in town...most anyway...certainly lack the land u speak of to properly care for the animals u mentioned. Also comes the fact that such small spaces and the concentrated population would be affected from sanitation standpoint. So you are for animal cruelty and dysentery is essentially what u are saying. Stop posting for the sake of wanting to argue. Just bc u can type doesn't mean u are smart enough to do so.
@concernedneighbor when you live in 'city limits' you have the right to go to the city council meeting and argue the same point. Usually the problem with livestock in town is the amount of space you have to give the animal what it needs. I don't know about Ohio Co. but in Dearborn Co. you have to have 3 acres per horse to have a horse. I have 3 horses here in Ohio Co. but I have about 12 acres of pasture.
If I lived next to these people I would just go ask them to show me where on their 300 acres they plan this event. How close it is to my property, will the 'noise' inconvenience me. I am inconvenienced by tractor traffic pretty much all summer long, but I don't complain about it. I guess I could and make them stay off MY county road.. but isn't it THEIR co. road as well? I guess I just think people should give the same respect they want to be given to them. And jumping to the conclusion that this will be BAD isn't fair to the people wanting to put this on.
@RBallart @Michelle OLaughlin First of all I never said that I was stating facts. Second of all how can you say exactly how many spectators you will have? You can't know that. You may know how many entrants but you cannot know the number of spectators until they show up. Also one race to start leads to another race and another.
@solitude and don't get me started with these farmers in their fields with their loud tractors gong back and forth.....every spring it's the same old thing....chug, chug, chug....and again in the fall with their combines....chug, chug, chug.....Why should my feelings or rights be compromised? I moved out here for peace and quiet and these guys think they can take it away twice a year!
I vote no to loud tractors in fields on a bi-annual basis!
@concernedneighbor I know for a fact that most of the so called "good neighbors" are hunting right on the fence lines and boarders. So much for a "good Neighbor". I have even had trees cut on my property so the Buckeye hunters can not only hunt on the line, but also shoot across it. I have seen these trails and know for a fact they are well constructed and it would be hard to get off course. True it might happen, but wouldn't it stand to reason that if I am not on a trail and in the woods I might try to get back on course?
Deer out here are used to seeing quads, trucks, tractors, you name it. I doubt they are gonna pack up and move to Switz County.
@concernedneighbor can you absolutely guarantee nobody will ever trespass and hunt on your property? Doubtful