Update on Cadillac Ranch Motocross Track July 26, 2013

By the Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group (RVNG)

ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING on July 29th, at 10:00 am:

Thurston County Courthouse, Bldg. 1, Room 152
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

The hearing starts at 10:00 a.m. and you are allowed to speak for 3 minutes.  We hope you will choose to state your opposition to the Cadillac Ranch Motocross Track in person. It helps some people to write out what you are going to say. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking at the hearing, you can submit a written statement to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Your presence is powerful.


PLACE: Thurston County Court House, Building 1, Room 152 – the Special Hearing Room.
PARKING: Limited space in the Court House Area and extension.  Early arrival recommended; carpooling is encouraged.
TIME: Room is reserved from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, with a possible extension to Tuesday
Start time – 10 AM

The proceedings will be audio recorded and microphones will be used.

Room is 112 people capacity that also includes tables.  If there is an overflow of people, they will be able to listen to the proceedings in the Commissioner’s Board Room.

HINT: Bring lots of your own food, snacks and drinks in a cooler so you can leave it in your car. 

SIGN UP on the list if you want to speak during the public comment portion. Be there early! 

Part 1:  SEPA Appeal (environmental) portion that includes attorneys, experts and applicants 

Part 2:  Special Use Permit portion

Part 3:  Pubic comments addressed to the Hearing Examiner

  • People will be asked not to repeat concerns, and organize some main speaker(s) to present the various issues.
  • People who sign up before the hearing will be allowed to voice their concerns, but people who raise their hands will also be called on. This could be changed by the hearing examiner.
  • There might be a 3 minute time limit, but short and precise delivery will be requested.
  • People can address the Hearing Examiner as Madame Hearing Examiner.
  • Those giving comments will be asked to provide their name and address.

Part 4:  Closing by attorneys, discussion on appeal, and legal submittals

The Mahan family has proposed a motocross track to be located on their farm at 12307 Vail Cut Off Rd SE, in Rainier, WA. This area of Rainier is zoned Rural Residential Resource (RRR 1/5). The track would have parking for 97 vehicles, a 12,000 square foot “day lodge”, restrooms and overnight parking for RVs as well as music and entertainment. They are requesting a Special Use Permit for a full commercial Motocross Park to allow the following:

  • Open year round
  • Track running 4 days/week from 8:am to 7:30pm, mostly weekends
  • Up to 50 motocross bikes at a time running on the track
  • Includes Mud Drags, Rally Cars, Tuff Truck
  • Weekly practice sessions for races and tournaments


  • Continual Noise! Noise! Noise!
  • Environmental impact – air emissions, fuel leaks into water supply, wildlife
  • Safety - Increased Traffic on narrow rural roads, rowdiness with little law enforcement
  • Decreased quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods
  • Decreased property values
  • Adverse impact on land use character, wildlife, air, water and traffic

Thurston County has approved the environmental part of the Cadillac Ranch proposal. In other words, the county has determined that the track will not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood or Deschutes River as long as the noise, the dust, the traffic, the fuel leaks and so on are all mitigated as promised by Cadillac Ranch. However, the county is recommending Denial of a Special Use Permit.

  • Self-monitoring by Cadillac Ranch is unacceptable
  • Sparse law enforcement oversight, due to limited county budget
  • RVNG appealed the environmental approvals and hired attorneys
  • Thurston County is recommending Denial of the Special Use Permit partly because the track would cause “an undue adverse effect on adjacent properties and neighborhood character”.
  • Public Hearing is set for Monday, July 29th at 10:00am at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building #1. After the public hearing the hearing examiner will make a recommendation to the county on Cadillac Ranch. It is up to us to voice our opinions.
  • If approved this could alter the rural nature of our area forever and could also set a precedent for similar changes in all of rural Thurston County.

The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group is a group of citizens determined to preserve our rural heritage and invite you to join us in the fight to oppose a huge change to rural Rainier and our neighborhood. The proposed Cadillac Ranch commercial motocross race track will affect the entire rural area for miles around and not just Vail Cut Off Road. The noise generated by the track can be heard for at least a three mile radius from the track. Based on the experience of other tracks in other neighborhoods/counties/states, we could also expect an increase in spectator traffic and noise.

In order to meet this challenge the Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group needs to raise money, community awareness, and to get as many signatures on petitions as possible. We could really use your assistance. The Cadillac Ranch Motocross “Park” proposal would bring a sort of mini-NASCAR to quiet, peaceful rural Rainier.


  1. SEND DONATIONSto RVNG for legal costs:

    Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group, P.O. Box 773, Rainier, WA 98576 – Or you can:

    Go to our new website at www.rvng.org and make a donation through the PayPal link OR use our drop box at Lemuria Mail Unlimited in Yelm. Yes, we need money to continue this opposition. We have excellent attorneys and they are necessary to win this fight. If we have to stop because of lack of funds, this track will likely become a reality in Rainier. Any size donation would help us greatly; even $50, $100 or whatever you feel you can contribute to this effort.

  2. Send your comments opposing further county approval: Be sure to send your comments opposing further county approval to Robert Smith, Thurston County Senior Planner – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.All comments must be received by 4:00 pm July 29, 2013. If you have not written a letter of opposition to Cadillac Ranch in a long time, now is a good time to write another one. Redundancy helps. Let Thurston County know how you feel about the track in your neighborhood.
  3. Write to the three County Commissioners – Sandra Romero, Cathy Wolfe and Karen Valenzuela – to express your concerns. It is important they hear from us since they will make the decision based on the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation. Their web site is http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/bocc/
  4. Keep up to date on this effort by emailing us your contact information. Our email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PETITIONS: Turn in ALL petitions to Lemuria/Mail Unlimited in Yelm by tomorrow, Saturday, July 27th, by 3:00 PM at the VERY LATEST!


Take a look at what they are planning on their website: http://www.cadillacranchmotorsports.com/Barrel_Racing_Rainier_WA_.html 

Take another look: http://www.cadillacranchmotorsports.com/Photos.html 

See the dissension in other communities after motocross tracks are approved: http://oregonfirst.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/history-of-mx-tracks-pitting-neighbors-against-neighbors/

See a video taken at Cadillac Ranch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po7sQYQHwFM

See a NOISE MAP of the area around Cadillac Ranch here – Click here. The noise map is based on reports by residents hearing noise from the track when it was running without county approvals in 2010. The 3 mile limit is a conservative limit. Noise intensity is affected by local terrain, trees, structures and ambient noise.

Precedents start small and become very difficult to reverse over time.

Let’s invest in our future NOW.

.....The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group

We have no overhead, no paid staff. 
ALL contributions go to oppose the ORV Track at Cadillac Ranch.



0 #1 oregonfirst 2013-07-27 09:07
I helped end MX abuse in rural Clackamas County. You have linked to my testimony "History of Mx Tracks: Pitting Neighbors Against Neighbors" that I assembled for our MX hearing in Clackamas County. I want to call your attention to the post http://oregonfirst.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/rest-in-peace-idiot-ridge-gets-the-big-deny/ because it has the findings from the hearings that denied "Timber Ridge" the right to run a commercial MX track. Oregon's land use rules are different than Washington's rules but I hope you can pick some high points to use in testimony.

In Oregon, the "wants" of the MX majority (they get people from around the county to sign petitions in favor of MX) could not trump the quality of life needs or the land use rules.

Contact me via email at with any questions.


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