Some Wildwood residents want to pump the brakes on proposed velodrome

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WILDWOOD, Mo. - A quiet West County community is looking to put the brakes on a proposed track-cycling complex.

The site in question is a 4.5-acre parcel on Manchester Road that sits across the street from the Dierbergs Town Center in Wildwood.

Scott Massa, who has lived in Wildwood for over 20 years, said he's always been supportive of a majority of development in his community, but now that there's a chance a 250-meter Olympic cycling velodrome facility could call the undeveloped land its home, he doesn't see how it would benefit the many residents living nearby.

"The biggest problem I'm going to have is the bigger the structure, the more the lights. And right now I can sit in my backyard in Wildwood with 40,000 people and see the stars," Massa said. "There's going to be more traffic for one, no matter what, but then you're going to have a structure that doesn't fit in the background."

At a Monday night meeting, land owners announced they would donate the property to the city and then suggested that a velodrome go in its place.

"This is the type of an activity in a city that would bring people and one that would make the Dierbergs property more valuable," said Ed Kohn, Greenberg Development Company.

Councilman Joe Garritano said that while he's all for the proposed project, putting it next to a movie theater and near a large residential development doesn't make sense.

"What kind of noise will we hear from the events? From the horns? From the loud speakers," said Garritano. "What kind of light pollution will this generate? So we are really concerned about the quality of life here."

Mayor Jim Bowlin said that while the velodrome is only a possibility among some other proposed ideas, he's taking concerns into consideration.

"We would want to make sure before we even approve something like that, whatever goes there--particularly a velodrome--doesn't end up causing more problems than situations that it might help," said Bowlin. "So traffic, parking, and all of those things will be part of an in-depth analysis."

A council meeting is scheduled for September 11, where the city council is expected to accept the letter of intent for donation of the land.