Club Motorsports Headed Back to Tamworth Planning Board

Tamworth — November 30, 2010 — Once again, the [Tamworth] planning board will take up a proposal by Motorsports Holdings LLC (Club Motorsports) to build a 251-acre driving-themed country club on the north face of Mount Whittier. A public hearing will be held on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the K.A. Brett School.

In April, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the Tamworth Planning Board didn’t properly explain the reasons for denying Motorsports Holdings a special-use permit under the Wetlands Conservation Ordinance in 2006. At the Dec.14 hearing, the planning board will review the information that was submitted during the 2006 application process and then will deliberate and issue a new decision, according to a posting on the town’s official Website

New testimony and evidence will not be heard at the Dec. 14 hearing.

“We’re going to follow the dictates of the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision,” said the town’s attorney Rick Sager, of the Ossipee-based law firm Sager and Haskell.

Motorsports Holdings’ plan is to build a 3.1-mile-long European-style road course, garage facilities, a hotel, restaurant, access road and parking. The construction would require dredging and filling 14,759 square feet of wetlands and would impact 16,952 square feet of intermittent streams. About 16 distinct wetlands would be affected. Motorsports Holdings owns 250 acres in Tamworth.

In a 16-page opinion by New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, the court found planning board members did not issue a proper written explanation of their Nov. 8, 2006 decision not to issue a special-use permit under the town’s wetlands ordinance. Motorsports Holdings has already earned state and federal-level environmental approvals but needs the town permit, the court ruled.

“Under the circumstances of this case, we hold that casting separate votes on each of the seven Section A criteria with respect to the project as a whole, without providing reasons, explanations or findings directed to adversely affected wetland areas or buffer zones, does not constitute an adequate statement for the grounds of disapproval necessary to comply with RSA 676:4, I(h),” the ruling said.

With its ruling, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling by Carroll County Superior Court.

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