Edge Residents Move for Legal Action Against Proposed Venue

By  | 

Edge residents have given the green light for legal action against a racetrack and entertainment venue developer.

Attorney Wayne Rife, who represents the Greater Edge Homeowners and Landowners Protection Group, has been asked by his clients to move towards legal action against Barret Lyne and any individuals or groups making efforts towards the proposed venue.

The residents say documents obtained in an open records request recently show "questionable 'behind-the-scenes' planning between race track developers Tickle T, Inc. and T. Barret Lyne, the Assistant Brazos County Attorney, and the Brazos County Judge," according to a press release from Greater Edge HLPG.

The documents in question included Lyne's application for a conditional use permit, but the bulk of them were proposed regulations for entertainment venues in Brazos County, something the county currently does not have. Those proposed regulations were addressed to County Judge Randy Sims.

Lyne has said he prepared the proposed rules to avoid a situation like a few years earlier, when the Hot Rod Hill race track was shut down for noise violations. Lyne said he wanted to make sure he was abiding by the rules, but upon finding out there were no entertainment venue rules, he says he drafted an example and sent it to Assistant County Attorney Tina Snelling.

Snelling has said she received Lyne's documents, but that they were unsolicited, and that she had been at work crafting a proposed set of entertainment venue regulations separate of Lyne.

For his part, Sims says he never received Lyne's proposal despite it being addressed to him. Lyne says he put Sims' name on them because he is the head of the county, but that he sent them to Snelling.

At a town hall meeting recently, Edge residents were presented with the documents Rife had obtained. Many spoke out that it appeared the county and Lyne had been working together to get the facility placed in Edge, and that it appeared the developer had been asked to help craft county law.

Philip Banks, the attorney representing Lyne, said Monday his client was prepared to fight any legal action.

"Bring it on," Banks said. "Trying to stop a legal business before it's started is a very dicey proposition. It's unlikely. There actually has to be nuisance before the nuisance can be abated."

Sims ruled in favor of Lyne in his application for a beer and wine license, something Lyne says was necessary to continue the project. The Sims ruling came after the TABC found no reason to deny the license, but also after Edge residents claimed the track would be in a dangerous location off an unlighted portion of a farm-to-market road and between two blind curves.

As reported Sunday on News 3, Lyne has put the Edge property up for sale, property he says he would use as a wildlife refuge in addition to the entertainment venue.

"If [a sale of the property] did develop and that was an outcome, I would no longer have any control over it. I would take that money and go somewhere else where there are less people and neighbors are further away, and try to do the environmental thing again," said Lyne.