Durham Road resident says buyers will regret it

Jim Eritano

Herald Staff Writer

A Norton resident told city council members that the Barberton Speedway will make people regret moving into the planned development on Clark Mill Road.

Noise from the Speedway is a problem for Durham Road resident Becky Woodruff and her neighbors. Acres of wooded land between Durham Road and the racetrack (about a half mile) serve as a minimally effective sound barrier, which would be gone if the land is cleared. Residents in the new development would have no barrier.

Woodruff said loud noise levels lead to increased stress, high blood pressure and damaged hearing.  “85 decibels is enough to start damaging hearing,” she said. “The National Institute of Health that says noise levels measured during a race range from 96.5 to 104 decibels, and that’s at a NASCAR race.”

Reading from Hot Rod Network Magazine, she said, “It’s important for a racetrack operator, no matter what type of track they have or how long they’ve been there, to work with the community and local government officials to come up with a working arrangement that satisfies everybody. Racetracks, new or old, if they receive complaints from local residents concerning noise, must take a pro-active approach within the community, adding trees and man-made barriers, as well as running mufflers in the cars.”

Ward 1 councilman Jack Gainer said the issue was raised in previous years, and the Speedway owners planted some trees and erected some barriers.

Gainer chuckled and said, “It’s unbelievable that you would buy a house and move there, knowing the Speedway was there, and knowing how loud it was. I know it’s noisy, I can hear it from my house. I got used to it.”

“When we bought the house,” Woodruff said, “we only saw trees in our back yard. No one said anything about the Speedway. We had no way of knowing about the noise until after we moved in.”

Gainer said, “If Ms. Woodruff owned that [undeveloped] land,” he said, “I’m sure she would feel different. I would if I owned it. We have a choice to develop or not develop our city. This development will be good for the schools, it will bring in revenue for the city, and property values will go up. It’s good for the city.”


  1. Dave on October 18, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    It’s simple. If the race track is already there when you buy or build your house, YOU need to accept whatever noise is produced. You have ZERO right to impose any restrictions on the track.
    Same goes for an airport.
    People buy property in these areas because they get it cheap, but it’s beyond me how they then think they have a right to complain about noise.

    On the other hand, if you already live there, and someone proposes building a race track nearby, then it’s your responsibility to go to the zoning meetings and voice your concerns, and the track, if approved, will take appropriate measures to control excessive noise.

  2. Anonymous on July 10, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    They can put mufflers on those cars. Besides, Durham Rd is not what it use to be. I drove through there the other week and thought to myself. Wow this neighborhood went to hell. The main road through the newer allotment is terrible. I think the speedway is the least of worries.

  3. Don nicolard on June 29, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I have owned 5 houses in norton. I can hear the speedway from each of them. I would suggest if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or buy the property proximal to you and make it a green space

  4. JimV on June 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I bought a house near BECAUSE the race track was close. I consider it a plus to hear it and know some activity is happening that many people and kids enjoy.

  5. Debj1951 on June 27, 2018 at 10:39 am

    When buying a property, it is the responsibility of the buyer to investigate the surrounding area. How could Ms. Woodruff NOT know about Barberton Speedway? The volume of noise at that track, I am sure is not nearly as loud as a NASCAR track.

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