County of Monterey and Friends of Laguna Seca Settle Raceway Lawsuit

MONTEREY, Calif. (June 23, 2024) – The County of Monterey Department of Public Works, Facilities, and Parks, along with Friends of Laguna Seca (FLS), announced on March 22 a comprehensive settlement that resolves the lawsuit brought by the Highway 68 Coalition against the county regarding Laguna Seca Raceway.

The NTT Indy race series has held races there since 2019, with the latest race on June 23, 2024. There was no race in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

“We view this as a very favorable resolution for the county and its long-term partner at Laguna Seca, the nonprofit organization Friends of Laguna Seca,” said Nick Pasculli, County Communications Director. “The future of the track and the amazing recreation area, which is a premier county park, is bright. Laguna Seca is loved by local, national, and global car enthusiasts and also by the tens of thousands of people who enjoy the beauty of the recreation area.”

The settlement includes plans for FLS to conduct a sound impact assessment at the racetrack and implement appropriate sound mitigation measures. This effort is part of being a good neighbor to the surrounding community.

“FLS is pleased that the litigation was dealt with quickly, and we’re looking forward to our next steps toward Laguna Seca’s long-term success for the benefit of the community of Monterey County and the entire racing world,” said Friends of Laguna Seca President Ross Merrill. “We know these improvements will take time, but we are committed to ensuring the success of Laguna Seca for decades to come.”

Both the county and Friends of Laguna Seca expressed gratitude to the loyal fans of the racetrack and the public who supported the county during the lawsuit.

“I grew up watching races at Laguna Seca and have raced there since the late 1970s,” said Bruce Canepa, Vice President of Friends of Laguna Seca. “I have a lifetime passion for this facility and want to see it preserved for future generations. With Friends of Laguna Seca, we’ve built a team of individuals who share the same passion, paired with business acumen, to make Laguna Seca the place we’ve always hoped it could be.”

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has a rich history of hosting world-class racing events and non-profit initiatives benefiting the community and driving prosperity for the region.

The lawsuit, filed on December 12, 2023, by the Highway 68 Coalition, an association of property owners in the Highway 68 corridor, sought to shut down the facility. The coalition claimed the racetrack was a public nuisance, causing irreparable injury. According to The Drive, Laguna Seca already operates under strict limitations, including noise ordinances and limited operations per year.

The lawsuit alleged that motor vehicle racing events, racetrack rentals, and noise levels had intensified and expanded beyond the established legal nonconforming use, violating the county’s zoning ordinance and constituting a public nuisance.

The settlement marks the end of a contentious period for Laguna Seca, allowing the historic racetrack to continue its legacy of racing and community service.

This story is based on a press release from the County of Monterey Department of Public Works, Facilities, and Parks and Friends of Laguna Seca (FLS).

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