ROSWELL – The Roswell City Council unanimously denied an application from Andretti’s Indoor Karting and Games to add two outdoor tracks to their Houze Way business.
Warren Fondu, general manager for Andretti’s, argued that adding two additional racing tracks in what is now the business’s parking lot along Houze Way would not affect the surrounding residents. He had several sound studies verifying that surrounding neighborhoods would be largely unaffected by the noise generated by the proposed 20 karts in action. That did not stop nearly 100 residents from turning out to oppose the plans, as well as surrounding businesses who would be affected by the noise.
Two tests were conducted by sound engineers working for Andretti’s in September and November. They found that, while sound was excessive in the immediate vicinity of Andretti’s – such as across the street at the Acura dealership or next door at the business park – the residential areas further to the west would not hear very much noise at all, especially indoors, with closed windows. Under those conditions, the sounds were comparable to those created by the traffic on Highway 9. These results were confirmed by a city study.
That wasn’t good enough for residents.
“I hardly think it’s fair that we tell the citizens of Roswell that we need an outdoor go-kart track and because of that you have to keep your windows closed if you don’t want to hear it,” said Kevin Tallant, a lawyer for the nearby Chambrell retirement community, whose residents turned out in force against Andretti’s.
More than 500 residents and 33 businesses expressed concerns for property values and traffic, as well as the noise. One nearby leasing agency noted that they had already lost one sale because an outdoor track was simply being discussed.
“Sound is a funny thing, and I don’t believe it will be a constant impact, however I think that it will be detectable [to residents],” noted Councilman Kent Igleheart.
“We must be sensitive to our existing businesses and not do anything that would be detrimental to their success,” said Councilwoman Becky Wynn.
Councilwoman Nancy Diamond added, “In this case, accommodating this businesses is at the expense of the surrounding businesses.”
Andretti’s Marketing Director, Scott Harris, said, after the meeting, “We are disappointed in the Roswell City Council’s decision to deny our conditional use request. We are currently reviewing our options on how to move forward with new and exciting entertainment options for the Metro Atlanta community.”