Laguna Seca Confronts Lawsuit Over Noise Complaints and Track Usage Issues.

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Laguna Seca responds to lawsuit over noise complaints, track usage

The well-known 11-turn, 2.238 road course was built in 1957. Monterey County currently owns this course. In July of the previous year, the county entered into a long-term concession agreement with the non-profit organization Friends of Laguna Seca (FLS). The intent behind the agreement was to ensure long-term financial stability.

Situated in California, the course is known for its Corkscrew sequence of corners. For 2024, it has seven major racing events lined up. These include the IMSA SportsCar Championship scheduled for April, as well as the IndyCar Series set for June. Additionally, the venue was resurfaced in the past year.

A group named the Highway 68 Coalition initiated legal proceedings on 12th December. The defendants in the lawsuit are Monterey County, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and the Friends of Laguna Seca.

Laguna Seca Confronts Lawsuit Over Noise Complaints and Track Usage Issues.
Laguna Seca Confronts Lawsuit Over Noise Complaints and Track Usage Issues. (Credits: Motorsport)

The charges laid by the coalition concern nuisance issues for local residents. This includes heightened noise and traffic levels during race weekends and track days.

FLS, however, claims that the Highway 68 Coalition aims to disrupt its custodianship and enhancement of the Laguna Seca Recreational Area. Ross Merrill, the President of FLS, expressed his concern about the noise and traffic issues.

Merrill clarified that FLS shares these concerns with other local residents since they also live there. The team, comprising qualified business and community leaders, is excited to rejuvenate this community fixture for decades of future prosperity and revenue generation for Monterey County.

The FLS, in the concession agreement, is committed to the historical usage of the Laguna Seca Recreational Area and the existing policies restricting attendance and noise at the park. The contract also obliges them to invest in infrastructure and facilities, including a noise study and noise control.

As stated in its complaint, the Highway 68 Coalition alleges an increase in the number of events at Laguna Seca over the past two years. The advocates representing the group – Richard Rosenthal, Alexander Henson, and Greg James – insist that the count of events has “substantially” escalated.

The lawsuit highlights an increase not only in race event days but also in permitted noise levels, additional track rental days with intensified noise exceeding 100 dB, inadequate water supply and quality, insufficient sewage disposal, and expansion of camping grounds.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Monterey County, in an interaction with, shared the County’s sentiment about the lawsuit filed. The county representative expressed regret over certain individuals’ choice to lodge a complaint against the County concerning Laguna Seca’s operations.

As per the spokesperson, the county fails to see any merit in the allegations and anticipates a favorable legal resolution.

Interestingly, it is not believed that the lawsuit would impact Laguna’s operations in any way during the 2024 season.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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