Lawsuit slows down Silo Speedway

FELTON — The caution flag apparently has waved again at a central Delaware dirt oval race track which expected to open in April.

Ongoing issues between neighboring businesses Silo Speedway and Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton apparently remain unresolved.

In January the Kent County Board of Adjustment voted 6-1 to deny Pete Pizzadili’s appeal to negate a certificate of use to the dirt track, but now, according to Silo Speedway’s Facebook page, Mr. Pizzadili has filed a suit in Superior Court against Kent County and LTR Properties.

The speedway posted on the social media site Monday afternoon that Mr. Pizzadili is appealing the Board of Adjustment’s decision supporting the permit to allow Silo Speedway to continue construction of the race track.

“We are 80 percent sure that the court will side in our favor, Kent County did their job, we did our job and we have tried countless times to work with Pete,” said Silo owner Ron Faison in the Facebook post.

Mr. Pizzadili declined to comment when contacted Tuesday.

Silo Speedway, already under construction behind Mr. Faison’s Delaware Auto Exchange auction business on U.S. 13, is bordered by Mr. Pizzadili’s vineyard.

Mr. Faison said the speedway would be used for training and competition for youths ages 8 and older and adults, with racing on Friday nights from March to October.

Mr. Pizzadili has more than 20 years invested in the winery and vineyards on his property off Peach Basket Road, just north of the town of Felton. He and his late brother, Tony, first planted grapes there in 1993.

In a previous interview with the Delaware State News, Mr. Pizzadili said the speedway, which backs up to the vineyard, could harm his wedding business.

The speedway property behind Mr. Faison’s is zoned General Business. The county’s planning department granted Mr. Faison a certificate of use to build the speedway in October 2015.

That certificate labels the property’s proposed use as a “Commercial Recreation Facility.” The county’s zoning code lists miniature golf, tennis, racquetball, handball courts, skateboard parks, skating rinks and batting cages as “Commercial Recreation Center” examples.

It does not list race tracks.

The decision to grant the conditional use was based on a previous case.

At the appeal hearing in January, Kent County planning supervisor Kris Connelly said the permit was based on similar approval for Fairlane Acres Speedway. Fairlane is a 1/8-mile kart track off Kitts Hummock Road south of Dover Air Force Base.

Mr. Faison had hopes to open the Speedway for practice on April 1, according to Facebook posts. Subsequent posts promoted opening day as April 29, but that was postponed also, Monday’s post explained why.

“Our legal team’s advice was to stop construction until the outcome of this case, but we have only slowed down progress,” Mr. Faison said in the Facebook post.

“Once this case is settled, we will 100 percent be back on schedule and working very hard to get our track open as soon as possible,” he said.

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