Bodie Garcia, 4, playing in a sprinkler on the family’s dirt track in Chalfant.
County stalls plan to build track on private property
It just seemed like the next, logical step.
When Bodie Garcia, 4, of Chalfant outgrew his beginner dirt track located next to his family’s residence (located on the west side of Highway 6 just off Chalfant Rd.), his parents A.J. and Naomi figured, well, let’s build him something bigger.
So over the Thanksgiving holiday, A.J. borrowed some earth-moving equipment and started building a motocross track which encompassed two acres of the Garcia’s 18-acre property.
The property is bordered on two sides by public land owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the United States Bureau of Land Management. The track the Garcia’s constructed, as measured by A.J., is 487 feet from the closest neighbor.
At the outset, the track wasn’t supposed to be quite so big, but once you’ve got the equipment going, “the geometry of the jumps got changed,” said Naomi with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
Some neighbors, however, were not amused and made noise complaints to the County. On a noise basis, a dirt bike is rated at about the same level as a chainsaw.
Mono County subsequently cited the Garcias for grading without a use permit. Naomi said the County also sent a letter which stated that a motocross track is not a compatible land use for property zoned estate residential.
She disputes the County’s position regarding land use. According to County code, a motocross track is not an allowable use – but it’s not a prohibited use either.
In response, the Garcias have floated a petition and have gathered approximately 250 signatures of local residents who believe the track is a reasonable use of private property.
Of course, Mono County District 2 Supervisor Hap Hazard notes that many of these same folks “would go nuts if Mize started cutting roads [across the street].”
The Mize parcel is a to-be-developed, 39-acre parcel located on the east side of Highway 6 next to TJ’s Merc.
“To me,” continued Hazard, “this is an issue of procedure. The Garcias went ahead and graded without contacting the County first. The petition represents this as a land-use issue. If you want to develop, you’ve got to go through the process, get your permits, go before the Planning Commission and make your case.
“It’s not an outrageous track,” he observed. “It’s just a bad location.”