Thursday, November 4, 2010

F1 Track: One step closer

Updated: Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010, 11:20 PM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010, 10:50 PM CDT

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Some land development code variances for the Formula 1 track site in Southeastern Travis County near the airport were approved at the Environmental Board meeting at City Hall Wednesday evening.

This is the first of potentially several public hearings Formula One developers face with the City.

The variances will allow the developers to eventually begin construction at the site.

"Essentially the city code requires that if you're going to move more than four feet of dirt," said F1 Attorney Richard Suttle. "You got to have it reviewed, and that's what we're doing tonight."

The Board overwhelmingly approved that motion despite some continued opposition.

"I'm going to oppose it as much as I can," said Chris Lehman with the Sierra Club of Austin .

"Formula One advances the sale of high performance gas-guzzling cars and it's going to affect our air quality," he said.

The only road block Formula One developers have faced has been two gas and liquid pipelines running through the track site.

"We will be relocating them on our property," Suttle said.

The pipelines will be re-directed around the track during the construction process.

One supporter who came out to speak Wednesday night lives in the Elroy area where the track will be constructed.

"It's really awesome to know there will be a Formula 1 track in our backyard," said Matt Sager.

Groundbreaking is expected in December or January.

Completion is expected in 2012 and races may start as early as June of 2012.

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