State Supreme Court upholds Felton racetrack ruling

Aerial view of the construction at Silo Raceway near Felton in August 2016. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — An earlier order stopping plans to build a dirt racetrack in Felton was upheld in Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday.

Justice Randy J. Holland issued a one-page decision affirming Superior Court’s decision in August 2016 that the proposed Silo Speedway would violate Kent County Code regarding its zoning district classification.

The Supreme Court agreed that the speedway on U.S. 13 near Peach Basket Road would be a non-listed use involving a commercial recreational facility as described in the Standard Industrial Classification manual.

On Aug. 26, 2016, Superior Court Judge William L. Witham Jr. overturned a decision by the Kent County Board of Adjustment that initially allowed the project to move forward. The appeal was filed on May 23, 2016.

LTR Properties LLC., the listed owner of Silo Speedway, filed an appeal to Supreme Court on Feb. 15, 2017.

Pizzadili Vineyard & Winery owner Pete Pizzadili had appealed a Board of Adjustment decision to issue a zoning certificate of use for the Silo Speedway project located next to his business.

Mr. Pizzadili previously expressed concerns that a racetrack would negatively impact his winery, the scene of approximately 35 weddings a year. Rehearsal dinners regularly scheduled for Friday nights would take place at the same time as auto races nearby.

“I’m not against racing. I am not and never have been. I even sponsor a car,” Mr. Pizzadili said at the time of the Superior Court’s favorable ruling. “But when for the sake of racing you hurt another business, then that’s when I’m against it.”

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison had estimated the facility’s construction costs to be between $150,000 and $200,000. Much of the facility has already been built, according to earlier reports, including digging out the track’s surface and installation of a press box.

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