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NHMS neighbors want state Supreme Court to stop concert

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 14. 2018 10:20AM
New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. (FILE)

CONCORD — A group of neighbors worried about noise have asked the state Supreme Court to prevent a country music festival from being held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

In May, a superior court judge ruled the speedway could go ahead with plans for the three-day concert despite an agreement signed in 1989 prohibiting stand-alone concerts at the site.

A group of neighbors and the previous owners of the race track signed the agreement, which contained language stating concerts were prohibited at the track unless they were held in conjunction with a race.

Lawyers for the track argued the country music festival would take place on parcels of land acquired in the mid-1990s, therefore the agreement did not apply.

Judge Robert McNamara agreed, writing the term “premises” used in the 1989 agreement “refers only to the land owned by the [New Hampshire Motor Speedway] at the time the agreement was executed.”

In a brief filed Monday in the state’s Supreme Court the petitoner’s argue, “The Merrimack County Superior Court misinterpreted the meaning of the 1989 settlement by ruling that it had no relevance for activities on property acquired after the agreement was reached.”

The plaintiffs argue the Superior Court misinterpreted the term “premises” as used in the settlement agreement “so as to unreasonably limit the scope of the settlement and undermine its intent.”

“The settlement agreement signed in 1989 placed limits on the activities of a large commercial enterprise in an otherwise quiet, rural area: no racing after 7:30 PM, and no concerts that are not associated with racing events,” the petitioners write in their brief. “If the Speedway prevails, the limits placed on it by the 1989 agreement will unravel. This court should rule that the premises of NH Motor Speedway are the property where its business activities take place, reverse the Superior Court’s decision, and enforce the settlement agreement which prohibits NHMS from holding ‘any musical concerts of any type or description’ on its property ‘except in conjunction with racing events.’”

Courts Loudon


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