Roswell rejects plan for outdoor go-cart tracks

The Roswell City Council has rejected a request by an entertainment complex to build two outdoor go-cart tracks.

Council members voted 5-0 against the idea Monday night after hearing residents voice complaints during a near four-hour meeting. Nearby subdivision residents and business owners said the noise and congestion caused by the tracks at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games would damage the city’s image, make traffic worse and lower property values.

“I’m worried about the impact this could have on the surrounding area,” council member Kent Igleheart said.

Andretti representatives countered that the outdoor tracks would improve the business and be an asset to the city.

“We are not proposing a side-of-the-road, dust-and-gravel obnoxious go-cart track,” said Warren Fondu, general manager of Andretti’s. “We want this to be the most unique and the best outdoor go-cart track ever.”

Fondu and others also said that sound studies showed the tracks would not violate the city noise ordinance.

Still, there was strong opposition.

“It’s not right for this site, it’s not right for the area and it’s not right for the city of Roswell,” said Kevin Tallant, a lawyer for Chambrel of Roswell, a senior living community.

Denise Rauch of the Charleston Oaks homeowners association said most outdoor go-cart tracks are located in vacation spots or near interstates and dense retail areas, not residential neighborhoods. She said the tracks would hurt the value of homes and urged the council to reject the zoning variance request.

Andretti's already has a go-cart track inside its two-story complex. It also has 120 video games, the Funny Farm comedy club, a climbing wall and an upstairs bar with pool tables. It's open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The building faces Alpharetta Highway, a commercial corridor, but has subdivisions behind it.

The company wants to build outdoor tracks for 9-horsepower "superkarts" and 6.5-horsepower "concession karts" in the parking lot.

Andretti's has pursued a landscaping variance, but noise is the main the sticking point. The city planning commission recommended approval last month, saying Andretti's acoustic testing convinced it that the sound of 20 go-carts would not disturb people living in subdivisions behind the complex. The commission also urged Andretti's to close earlier than 1 a.m. on weekends.

After the meeting, Fondu said he didn't know what Andretti would do next.