After months of discussion, Rainbow residents have chosen to gather to discuss what is next for those who feel their lives are constantly disrupted by the noise traveling from the Pala Raceway.
The Rainbow Community Planning Group discussed what steps have been taken and what choices are left to the Rainbow community, which they claim has been quite disrupted at various times throughout the day by the sounds of motorcycles, which echo through the area.
“Obviously, we are not happy here,” said Dennis Sanford, chairman of the Rainbow Community Planning Group. “We have attempted numerous times to come to an agreement with Pala Chairman Robert Smith; probably many in Rainbow have. All attempts seem to fall on deaf ears. We are not sure what can be done.”
Because the Pala tribal property has been deemed sovereign by the federal government, local and regional noise pollution ordinances and codes that regulate other property owners in the area are not applicable. At the beginning of the year, Pala hired a consultant to conduct noise studies, and it was reported that the results showed the raceway was not creating noises surpassing the legal limit.
“That’s not what it’s about,” said a resident involved in the Rainbow community effort. “The noise is a nuisance and a detriment. There is going to be a meeting to bring different community members that are being affected by the noise together to see what can be done. It’s not like living next to a tarmac, but it has affected our lifestyle and the environment that we live in.”
The meeting will be held Saturday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. to noon at Rainbow Valley Grange hall, 2160 Rainbow Valley Blvd. in Rainbow.
“It has been our hope all along that the [Tribe and the] raceway would at least recognize the situation and at least take steps to correct it,” said Sanford. “We have not gotten a lot of reaction. Unfortunately, they are out of our jurisdiction, and we can only relay our frustration as a neighboring planning group. The reservation knows that we have no pressure that we can exert, other than being the neighbor that says, ‘Hey, you are making too much noise.’ It’s like having a neighbor who has a dog that barks all the time. What do you do?”
Residents hope to become more organized in their efforts, and to unite various groups who have similar concerns about the raceway.
“We have never been able to organize, and that’s what we are going to attempt to do. We need to figure out what kind of legal action is needed. The community needs to band together and rise up in one voice,” said the resident. “We are a lot smaller than Pala and the raceway. We are not trying to get the motorcycle riders to stop; that is not the focus of our efforts. We want someone to be accountable for the detriment the noise has caused the environment.”
To obtain more information regarding the Pala Raceway group, email
To comment on this story online, visit www.thevillagenews.com.