Go Kart Mania Dirt Track and Party Place owner Lynn Limon said she thought the city would “be all over it” given that residents have long called for revitalization and new business development in the east side of Cleburne.
“That’s one of the main things we thought,” Limon said. “That this will bring people to the east side and probably help the businesses that are already here and maybe even bring some new businesses here.”
Limon’s hope is to transform about seven wooded acres in the 1500 block of East Henderson Street into a combination go-kart track and family friendly amusement center.
The Cleburne Planning and Zoning Commission derailed, temporarily at least, plans during their June 9 meeting. The commission doesn’t approve, but rather recommends proposals, which require city council approval. Commission members that night deadlocked 3-3 on Limon’s request. Limon must now present her proposal to the city council during their 5:30 p.m. July 9 meeting and hope at least five of the six members approve.
Limon set up a Go Kart Mania Facebook page and website and distributed petitions in support of her project, which she plans to present to council members.
P&Z members split, Limon and city officials said, after one or two adjacent land owners objected to dust and noise.
Noise would not be an issue, Limon said, given that the property is surrounded by trees and sits off the road behind an auto repair shop. Limon had her children, Megan and Matthew, drive go-karts around the partially completed dirt-surface track Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate that dust will not be a significant problem. Limon said she plans to treat the track to further reduce the chance of dust. Limon said she’s willing to work with the city to ensure her property meets all safety and city codes.
“Safety first and a family friendly center are our main concerns,” said Melissa Traditz, Limon’s mother.
Insurance is in place, riders will be closely monitored and required to wear helmets and safety glasses, Limon said.
The partially completed track winds throughout the property, traversing both fields and wooded areas. Limon said she’s spent about $8,000 clearing brush and collecting tons of trash, including an abandoned refrigerator and boat.
Limon has 15 karts and six eight-foot picnic tables.
In addition to go-karts, plans call for outdoor laser tag, archery, volleyball, picnic areas, tire swings and a pit for roasting s’mores at night. Special events and live music are not out of the question down the road, Limon said. Limon also called the site perfect for birthday parties and events.
Limon said she plans to install a septic system since the property is not presently served by water lines, and an air-conditioned building with bathrooms.
“So the parents will have somewhere to go,” Limon said. “We’ll have a TV so they can watch the games when they’re on.”
The building will also have ping pong tables and other activities for kids of all ages, she said.
“She’s reliving her childhood,” Traditz joked while walking the track and passing by one of the tire swings. “She’d wanted to open her own business for a long time.”
After her children recently got a go-kart, Limon said the idea for a track hit her. Her father-in-law agreed to let her use his property off East Henderson Street, she said.
“I’m not sure he expected that I would actually try to go through with this,” Limon said. “Maybe next time I ask him for something he won’t be so quick to say yes.”
The go-kart plan soon blossomed into dreams of a larger amusement park/family center.
“She jumps in feet first, that’s for sure,” Traditz said. “One day it was just talk then the next day, she’s rolling along.”
Response has been great, Limon said, adding that she hopes the Cleburne location of Go Kart Mania becomes the first of several.
“We’ve had a lot of people like our Facebook page, which we just put up, already,” Limon said. “And a lot of people asking about and getting petitions to sign so that’s going well. I’m shooting for 10,000 signatures but maybe more realistically thinking 5,000.”
Pending council approval, Limon said she hopes to open by September.
The council’s reaction to Limon’s request appears to be anybody’s guess at this point. Mayor Scott Cain on Tuesday said he had not heard of the project or the petition. Cain declined to comment on the matter.
Councilman John Warren, whose district includes the proposed site, said he supports bringing new business to the east side. Warren added, however, that he has not heard of the project and would need to learn more about it before commenting.
On the web:
www.gokartmaniadirttrack.com and on Facebook under the same name.