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Aurora again proposes repeal of ordinance banning incentives for motorsports facilities

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 14:04:38-04

AURORA, Colo. – The Aurora City Council will vote Monday on whether to refer to voters a ballot measure that could pave the way for a racetrack in the northeastern part of the city.

If approved by voters, the measure would repeal a 1999 amendment to the city charter that prohibits using public funds to help with the development of any motorsports venue. The city has tried several times in the past to repeal the amendment.

City leaders would like to see an “entertainment district” in the northeastern part of the city – north of I-70 and east of Hudson Road – that could include a racetrack of some kind.

There aren’t any immediate plans in the works to build a racetrack in the area, but councilors say the 1999 amendment has made it exceedingly difficult to develop any such facility, which could bring money and jobs to the city.

At the proposal’s first reading on June 5, councilor Sally Mounier highlighted the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, which Mounier said has had a positive economic impact on the surrounding area. Kansas Speedway is currently the closest NASCAR racetrack to the Denver metro area.

As proposed, the measure would re-write Section 11-18.5 of the city charter to allow using public funds for incentives, so long as such a facility is located at least half a mile from any residential property. The measure also would include language prohibiting the use of public money generated outside such an entertainment district from being used to subsidize the development of any part of the entertainment district.

If approved at Monday’s city council meeting, the measure would go before Aurora voters on Nov. 7, 2017.