Motocross developer: Environmental studies too costly

A rider pulls off a trick while riding the motocross track at Hollister Hills last March.

A developer interested in building a motocross facility east of Hollister told the Free Lance that the state’s demands for environmental work on the project will likely cause him to “cancel” the idea.
San Jose-area resident Tim Wagemann told the Free Lance that costs related to environmental work required by the state California Fish & Wildlife Department are putting the proposal, which has drawn neighbor opposition, at risk.
Wagemann said the state is concerned primarily about the California tiger salamander, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The species not been sited in the area of the proposal, near Santa Ana Valley and John Smith roads, since 2005, Wagemann contended. Still, the proposed project is in the “migration trail” of the salamander, prompting the need for environmental work that Wagemann estimated would cost him more than $300,000—more than the price tag to develop the facility.
Wagemann said he had been working with a biological firm to help him regarding initial studies of the area.
“We have to do a bunch of mitigation on the property to allow for the migration and also pay a lot of money into an account that draws interest that supports fish and game to do periodic inspections,” Wagemann said.
He went on: “I was really hoping it would work out. I have a feeling it’s not going to.”
Wagemann said his next option for a similar motocross facility would be moving out of state. Santa Clara County planning officials wary of maintaining open spaces were cold toward his plan as well, he said.
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