Mud run rezoning proposed in Sweden

By on September 11, 2017

A proposed re-zoning of vacant land on Sweden Walker Road for the purpose of holding “mud run” events three to four times a year, drew a large crowed for a public hearing held by the Sweden Town Board Tuesday, August 29.

Mike and Janice Waeghe own the land and are asking the town to change the zoning from Residential (R-1) to Recreation-Commercial (B-3). The mud runs involve recreational racing of off-road vehicles.

Mike Waeghe addressed concerns of town board members regarding several issues.  He told council members he has purchased the railroad bed which would serve as a 60 foot driveway and which would accommodate emergency vehicles. The field where racing takes place is located about one-half mile back from Sweden Walker Road.

Waeghe said drainage in the field where the mud runs are held has been capped so that spills could easily be addressed. He noted spills have never been a problem.

The Waeghes have held events on the site and Mike Waeghe told Supervisor Rob Carges that the events typically draw 20-40 vehicles and 500-600 people. “We would hold no more than four runs each year,”  Waeghe said – two in the spring and two in the fall.  The events would run on Sundays with most of the activity happening between noon and 5 p.m.

Most trucks are trailered into the site, Waeghe said, and the vehicles can be washed down before being taken back out onto the road.  There would be no overnight camping and the couple is insured for such events, he told Supervisor Carges.

Several people spoke during the public hearing, many of whom are neighbors of the site, and most of whom spoke out against the zoning change, noting that the mud runs are not a good fit for a residential area.

“The location is not suitable for these events,” Brian Fisher, who lives next to the site, said. “It will have a negative impact on my family’s quality of life.”

Fisher said his concerns include noise levels, decreased property value, environmental impact and trespassing onto neighboring properties.

Michael Mincher, who also lives on Sweden Walker Road, said the Waeghes are good neighbors but he worries about the potential of more frequent events in the future once the zoning has been changed.  Mincher suggested it might be preferable for the Waeghes to apply for a special use permit for the mud run events.

John Toepper, who lives in Adams Basin in the Town of Ogden, said his home is 2-1/2 to 3 miles away from the site, but “I can hear that noise all day long, you can probably hear that in Spencerport.”

Several residents noted they believe the noise which results from the mud runs is in violation of town codes.  Frank Lapinksi said the zoning change to Recreation-Commercial would be, “incompatible with residential properties.  This is a residential neighborhood.”

Town Board members did not take action on the rezoning request. Council members need time to, “take in all considerations,” before making their decision, Supervisor Rob Carges said.

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