AURORA - Voters in Aurora will decide this November whether the city can build a NASCAR-style complex that would include a racetrack.
Monday, Aurora City Council voted 7 to 3 to approve a measure that allows them to move forward with plans for an "entertainment district."
At this point, the "entertainment district" does not have definitive plans to include a racetrack, but it's been discussed for years, according to the mayor of Aurora.
"Let's just say it wouldn't be a racetrack," Mayor Steve Hogan said. "It could be an amphitheater, a baseball stadium, a concert venue; it could be all of those."
The ballot issue in November does not approve plans for a racing complex. Voters will decide whether to strictly to overturn a charter provision that prevents the city from offering incentives or subsidies to motorsport facilities.
Basically, that makes it impossible to attract sponsors.
"No one is going to have a conversation with the city if they don't know what the rules are going to be," Hogan said.
The charter was put in place in 1999 when the city first explored the idea of bringing a NASCAR-style track to Aurora.
"There was a race track south of Colorado Springs and the owners didn't want competition," he said.
City council tried to overturn the charter twice in the past 18 years -- both failed both times. Last time, some residents expressed concerns about potential noise levels.
Monday, officials added a provision that mandates the speedway must be at least half a mile away from homes.
While we know Aurora's new "entertainment district" will be near I-70 and Hudson Road, it's too early to know the details. The city owns approximately 1,700 acres of land in the field. Officials will begin contacting other property owners to let them know the outcome of Monday's council meeting.
The project could last more than a decade. If and when it's complete, Aurora could be double the size it is now.
"Aurora would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 685,000 people essentially, what the city and county of Denver is right now," Hogan said.
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