Claremont Speedway Owners to Propose Smaller Campground

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 7/4/2016 11:47:23 PM
Modified: 7/4/2016 11:47:26 PM

Claremont — A year after the new owners of the Claremont Speedway abandoned plans to seek a variance for a 200-site campground on the Thrasher Road property, a new application with fewer sites will come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday.

Claremont Speedway LLC needs a variance to build a seasonal campground with 149 sites, a recreation hall, ballfield, swimming pool and bathrooms on the 66-acre property. The variance is required because a campground is not a permitted use in the zoned rural residential district where the speedway is located. According to the application, the campground would be located at the property’s south-southwest section.

Richard Uchida, attorney for the speedway, wrote in the application that location is “furthest away from the residences on Thrasher Road, nestled in a tree-lined area that, together with very steep slopes which drop off dramatically from the site, forms a natural buffer from properties to the west and south.” Uchida also wrote that the campground would be away from the paved oval and speedway operations and argues it would not diminish the value of surrounding properties.

Last July, the proposed plan included about 160 recreational vehicle sites and 40 tent sites with two swimming pools and a beer garden. On the night of the July 6, 2015, hearing, a number of abutting property owners and those living around the speedway were present to oppose the plan. The hearing was postponed and the application later withdrawn.

Weekly racing began last summer after James Ambrose, Phil Hayes, Joseph Purita, and Frank Sargent Jr. bought the speedway in December 2014 from Dennis Fleury. Racing has been held at the speedway for about 70 years.

According to the application, sites will be rented on a seasonal basis with no short-term rentals or rentals on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis. The campground will have two seasons: May 1 to Oct. 31; and Nov. 1 through March 31, with the operation closed the month of April. Camper units will be between 18 and 45 feet, the application states. Also included is a traffic study that says “vehicular access to the property is safe and efficient, and adequate to handle the proposed campground.”

Uchida said his clients believe a campground, in which many users will be racers or fans, is compatible to the speedway and both uses “would complement each other.”

If the variance is approved, the Planning Board would still have to approve the site plan. Thursday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at


Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy