On July 20, 2022, the land developer Neal Krzyzaniak and his partners Shirley Zachman (Marketing Agent) and David Robson (Real Estate Agent) met at the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls (UUSRF) with about 70 citizens – many from River Falls Township – to describe a land development project in the EXTRATERRITORIAL ZONING and to answer any questions about the project. The project is a private, country club complex focused on a five-mile road course and smaller kart track. The location of the racetrack, according to Wisconsin’s Pierce County Supervisor Michael Kahlow, is at the corner of highways 29 and 65 (on the SE corner), but some of the development would be to the north of 29; Click Here for a map.
Krzyzaniak has signed land purchase agreements amounting to more than 500 acres. The project will need to require annexation by the City of River Falls and rezoning.
A previous effort to stop this type of racetrack by a group of concerned citizens in Minnesota can be viewed at: StopTheRaceTrack.com (click here). Excerpts from this website are incorporated in this blog post.– Stop the Race Track
The recording of this meeting is one hour and 13 minutes long. Krzyzaniak’s presentation includes the first 25 minutes of the video followed by a question and answer segment. An example of this type of racetrack is cited to be similar to this one; click here.
Potential Problems with a Racetrack
The proposed project seems to point to environmental problems and the likelihood of lowering the market values of properties within several miles, and potentially increasing residents’ taxes if there are requests for road improvements and sewer or tax increment financing. The problems are categorized and described below, which were excerpts taken from the website completed by StopTheRaceTrack.com.
Increased traffic flow may mean longer queues and gridlock conditions at various intersections near the proposed development.
Increased Property Taxes
Most local residents will not be able to afford a private club membership fee or proposed housing for this private club. However, taxes may rise due to needed sewer, road improvements, tax abatement request, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), etc.
Decreased Market Value
Real estate industry data and local sales comparisons show that locations with noise depress the value of a home’s value. Homeowners know that noise pollution will negatively affect their property values. There is a vast amount of research that demonstrates the inverse relationship between noise and residential market value.
Race cars can make as much noise as a jet taking off — approximately 140 decibels.
Water, gasoline, oil runoff near compromised water sources, clear-cutting of trees, damage to wildlife, air quality, wastewater (sewage), storm runoff… How will these affect our vegetation, wildlife, and quality of life? We need research to understand how a racetrack of this sort will affect our beautiful River Falls area.
If you are opposed to the Racetrack in River Falls, there is a Facebook page that you can opt to join called “Stop the River Falls Racetrack: Click Here.
“What is known now is that several large parcels of land adjacent to our property (UUSRF) have been sold. The City of River Falls has acknowledged to the Township of River Falls that this is in the very early stages, but the City knows of the project goals and the landowner has made them aware that the development will ask to be annexed into the City of River Falls.”– UUSRF Board President Elizabeth Bowden