St. Charles alderpersons have given the green light to a proposed unpaved motorcycle training course at the Fox River Harley-Davidson store at 131 S. Randall Road in St. Charles.
At Monday’s St. Charles City Council meeting, alderpersons unanimously approved a special use application to amend the existing planned use development to allow the training course. According to a business plan submitted to the city, the proposed recreation area would allow members of the public to learn how to safely operate off road adventure bikes and other types of motorcycles. The area would be landscaped.
The 1.75-acre parcel is located directly east of the Kane County Fairground property, north of the Costco store and west of the paved test track/parking lot. The classes would be offered to licensed drivers and the classes would take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., primarily on the weekends.
The riding season will be from April through October. As city planner Rachel Hitzemann told alderpersons, no lights are needed for the track.
“The proposed plan will leave the lot in its current condition, just planting additional grass seed as needed,” she said. “As part of the plan, the applicant is proposing to create a landscape ring around the property to provide a buffer layer of protection.”
The riding area is confined to a smaller portion of the lot and will leave about 30 feet to 40 feet of “run-off” space, Hitzemann said. St. Charles resident Tom Staroske wrote plan commissioners to voice his opposition to the plan.
“Please let it be known that me, my family and many of our Timbers Subdivision neighbors are adamantly opposed to the Fox River Harley-Davidson special use application,” his letter stated. “An off-road course with off-road motorcycles would be perfectly fine in a rural setting, but absolutely not within city limits. Even though we are not located immediately next to the site, we already clearly hear the annual Kane County Fair events, such as tractor pulls, demolition derby and more. This short-term noise is fine, as it is all a part of summertime fun in St Charles and the fair only takes place a few days out of the year. Off-road motorcycles typically have smaller, higher revving engines. The resulting sound is like a chain saw running. Do we really want to subject not only the Timbers, but all west side properties to this constant ‘revving chainsaw’ sound in the spring, summer and fall every year? I think not.”
Plan commissioners had unanimously approved the special use application.