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Horsham Zoners Deny Go Kart Facility

The zoning hearing board backed Horsham Township in its stance that Speed Raceway’s application is not a permissible use at the former Walmart site.

The shuttered Walmart on Blair Mill Road in Horsham will remain closed at least a while longer. 

The former anchor of the Village Mall had been the site of choice for a as proposed by locals involved with the Speed Raceway indoor electric go kart racing franchise. But, on Tuesday, the Horsham zoning hearing board voted unanimously to deny the application “in its entirety.”

Following the decision, Travis Thompson, one of a half dozen partners who had planned to finance the project, said he was not sure if an appeal of the board’s decision would be filed. Thompson, who was present at the meeting, said he needed to sit down this week with the partners and evaluate it.

"We’re disappointed. We’re local guys," said Thompson, president of Ivyland-based Suburban Marble and Granite. "We thought this would be a great use for the space."

Thompson said he and his partners have opened a location in Denver and plan to open seven total sites within the next five years. Thompson said three other locations are in development. And, when Speed Raceway began to face resistance from Horsham officials, Thompson said his team started looking at another site in Montgomery County. The other two prospective locations are in New Jersey, he said. 

Township officials have said that the as proposed by Speed Raceway is not allowed under the shopping plaza’s zoning and suggested that the facility would fit better and would be permitted to operate in the township’s industrial or general commercial districts.

Speed Raceway representatives, including Thompson, disagreed and appealed the township zoning officer's May 1 decision to the zoning hearing board. Tuesday's ruling by the zoning hearing board, in essence, backed that earlier decision. 

 

pat polichetti August 21, 2011 at 01:51 PM
The township would much rather have the whole Village Mall turn into the Shopping Center of the Dead. Wow, how horrible, a place for kids (and adults) to actually have a place to congregate... I guess people would rather have them roam around and attack people like in Philadelphia... but then the residents are assuming the kids that would hang there are all bad. As Craig said, they prefer the abandoned husk of buildings over adding jobs to the economy. They'd rather develop the Naval Air Station into the town center and corporate center. But they don't want any traffic. Can you really have that both ways? Or maybe just wait till the town center and corporate center look like the Village Mall does now. Wow, Horsham taxpayers, yay for you.
Santa Contarino Kelly August 21, 2011 at 07:42 PM
I can't have any input on this issue because I don't live there, but it sounds like a fun place to me.
Craig Peters August 23, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Evidently the applicant has the right to appeal the ZHB decision to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The court can overturn the ZHB decision. I hope they appeal and I hope the decision is overturned, as denying this facility makes no sense for the local residents and economy.
ariana matthews July 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I think they should allow them to use the place as a go kart faciallty. It would give the kids something to do instead of sitting around the streets getting in trouble. There is no place for them to hang out and enjoy themselves.
Theresa Katalinas July 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Ariana, They have. It's supposed to be opening soon.

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