racecar flickr philipplueckeNote: This is part of a series.

Plenty of folks on Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula are worried about a NSACAR track that’s being pushed by a Florida corporation. At least two county commissioners think the deal is a rip-off for taxpayers, who would be responsible for financing $166 million of the project. Under the proposal, the corporation would also be exempted from certain taxes, be given land-use waivers, and be allowed keep taxes from ticket sales for NASCAR. In addition to the worrisome finances, a racetrack of that size—83,000 seats—would also strain roads and infrastructure in Kitsap County.

So it’s not surprising that plenty of locals are less than happy about the prospect of a gigantic speedway in their backyards. The opposition is a time-honored American tradition: a gathering of neighbors who want a say in their community. They don’t have corporate funding or a slick PR campaign, just a simple website, roots in the community, and a belief in local decision-making. “Our Board Room is the kitchen table of whatever member’s home we happen to be in,” their website says. They may just have a fighting chance.

But in a recent public hearing, county commissioners threw up their hands up at the mention of Initiative 933. If 933 passes, they admitted, land-use changes to accommodate the racetrack would be a fait accompli. Neighbors couldn’t do a thing about it.

Start your engines, Kitsap County residents. If I-933 passes, your semi-rural county will likely soon be home to the largest stadium in the Northwest—25 percent larger than Qwest Field and 75 percent larger than Safeco Field.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user philippluecke under a Creative Commons license.