Horse racing, training facility approved for Mack

Mesa County commissioners approved a conditional use permit Tuesday for a horse training and racing facility in Mack.

The 1,300-foot track is located at 855 R Road and owned by Jose Alvarez, who also owns Los Jilbertos restaurant. The permit would allow horse racing events with up to 300 people and 150 vehicles to take place at the property between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. two Sundays a month each spring, summer and fall.

Each event will be open to the public and no admission will be charged. Owner representative John Kornfeld of Rhino Engineering Inc. said races should begin in March and could run through November.

Kornfeld said the only step left before opening the track is to respond to a few engineering comments made on a site plan. He added no organized gambling takes place at the track and alcohol will not be allowed at racing events.

A conditional use permit application in 2007 for the property was withdrawn because of access concerns brought up in a code enforcement action. Races that were taking place at the time were halted, according to Senior Planner Christie Barton. Kornfeld said an access road to the site has been widened and work will be done to keep widening the road.

A neighbor to the property, Robin Finkel, testified before the commissioners Tuesday that the track operators are good neighbors.

“They’re very courteous,” she said. “He’s tried very hard to make everything work just right.”

County Commissioner Craig Meis suggested Alvarez go “above and beyond” permit requirements to keep the four property owners around the track area from making complaints about access, trash or other concerns.

“This conditional use permit could come back before this board or another board if they’re not good neighbors,” he said.


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