Fight over off-road parks gets dirty in Trimble County - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fight over off-road parks gets dirty in Trimble County

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Bedford, KY (WDRB) -- A battle over dust and mud brews in Trimble County. A proposed ordinance to restrict all terrain vehicle parks had its first reading today in Trimble County fiscal court.

Although it was stopped in its tracks, owners of the main park in town and nearby neighbors say this is the beginning of a dirty fight.

"I'm trying to create a place of relaxation for a couple hours to get away from the hustles and bustles of the world," said owner of Dirty Turtle Off-Road Park.

But getting away is exactly what Macc O'Neal says he and his family can't do. "Some nights they run at all hours of the night."

O'Neal lives across from the Dirty Turtle and he says the business doesn't always close at 9 p.m. as it advertises. "When they're running loud as heck until 2:30 or 3:00 a.m., when you got to get up at 4 a.m. to serve your businesses as a mail carrier, it's hard to do."

Another issue for neighbors is the mud that they say is dragged onto state and county roads from vehicles leaving the park. "The roadways will have two to three inches of mud caked on top of them," said O'Neal.

But owner of the park, Joe Lawson says the claims are exaggerated, or simply not true. Although neighbors say they have tried talking to Lawson to no avail, Lawson says he feels personally attacked. "The day of people talking to people apparently have gone away, they just go to a state entity and have me get a letter in the mail."

Lawson found out last week that following neighbor complaints, an ordinance was written that would put more restrictions on his business.

According to the county, the proposed ordinance would restrict noise and dust levels, as well as make it illegal for muddy vehicles to leave the park, enter and exit without a trailer, and make the park owner responsible for patrons use of alcohol or illegal drugs on the property.

Lawson says he feels his business is being personally attacked. "Each weekend, a lot of people come out here and spend a lot of money at the gas stations and so forth, and for them not to recognize me as a business doesn't upset me, it hurts me."

Judge Executive Jerry Powell says he wrote the ordinance in order to promote positive behavior by all business owners and neighbors in the community. "I was never intent on putting anybody out of business, and I don't think this would put them out of business," said Powell.

The proposed ordinance was stopped in its tracks Monday in Trimble County court, but Lawson says the push and shove could put him out of business. While neighbors say the havoc the park is creating on their town and their quiet is ruining their once peaceful home.

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