Edge Residents Weigh Legal Options in Track Meeting

Another meeting Tuesday night in Edge may have laid out the landscape of future fights by residents against a potential race track.

As we told you last week, the ownership behind a would-be race track in the Northern Brazos County community won its bid for a beer and wine license.

Tuesday, it was another discussion of options, which includes a motion for a new trial. That would have the residents asking County Judge Randy Sims to rethink his ruling and make another one.

"We are Edge, Texas," said Martin Wortman, who is part of Greater Edge HLPG, a group opposing the track. "We are a rural community. We're an intelligent community, and we're a community of integrity. We don't suffer threats to our quality of life, either."

The residents say the location of the proposed track is a poor one, and that beer and wine being sold along a narrow, unlighted road is the last thing the community needs.

The attorney representing more than two dozen Edge residents produced documents at the meeting that were obtained in an open records request. Wayne Rife said initially, the county attorney's office denied the existance of the documents, but that the Attorney General's office intervened and forced their disclosure.

The documents include a letter from the would-be track operator, Barrett Lyne, to Judge Sims, along with a multi-page entertainment venue regulation drafted by Lyne, that Lyne writes was drafted at the request of an assistant county attorney, Tina Snelling.

Brazos County has no such regulation, and residents Tuesday weren't too pleased at the idea of a potential law being drafted by a businessman.

According to Judge Sims Tuesday night, if the Lyne-drafted document ever made it to his desk, he didn't read it. In addition, he said he would not have used it in drafting such a regulation in the future.

He could not speak to whether Snelling had solicited the regulation document as noted in the letter, but Sims did add that he and Snelling had discussed creating some sort of rules for future entertainment purposes.

As for the possibility of him being asked to make another ruling, he told News 3 it would, in all likelihood, be the same result: an approval of the track's request despite the displeasure of the residents.

More than 200 people showed up at a hearing, with the vast majority of speakers voicing their displeasure with the potential track. A petition was also given to Judge Sims, who said TABC found no wrongs in the filing for a beer and wine license, and so he ruled in the track's favor.

If Sims again rules in favor of the track, the residents could take the county to district court.

In addition to legal steps, the gathering in Edge also discussed other possibilities, including running a community member against Sims or Commissioner Duane Peters in an election, or even incorporation of the community.

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