There could be two motocross parks in Newberry

Published: Aug. 30, 2017 at 6:29 PM EDT
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It turns out, there could be two motocross parks in the city of Newberry.

The business owner of Gatorback Cycle Park is trying to find a new home for their track. But the property owner who was renting to the business owner said his track currently named Gatorback isn't going anywhere.

"We've been permitted with Alachua County since 1972," said Jeff Leivonen, the landowner of Gatorback Cycle Park in northwest Newberry.

He and his family have owned the property which houses the motocross track for the past 45 years.

"It means a lot to my two aunts, and my sister and I," he said.

The business owner and promoter used to lease Leivonen's land for the past 15 years. But in June, they couldn't agree on a new lease.

The business owner has the Gatorback Cycle Park name trademarked, and wants to open up a new track in southwest Newberry off of CR 337.

The city's Zoning and Planning Board denied recommending a special exemption permit for the land Wednesday morning, but the promoter is still hoping to get City Commissioner's approval.

Leivonen said his park will continue to operate under the name Gatorback Cycle Park.

"It's Gatorback Cycle Park and if somebody wants to name another motorcycle park Gatorback then we'll address it at that time."

Patrice Boyes, the business owner's lawyer, said if Leivonen gets a permit and continues to call his park Gatorback, her client would consider all legal options.

For now, Leivonen is trying to get a special exemption permit of his own to use his land as a motocross facility.

"I want to continue to bring motorcross events here. It may give us a bigger footprint to bring in instead of one promoter events, it may give us an opportunity to bring in other national, international type events here," he said.

Leivonen added that he does not see himself taking legal action, but it's always a possibility.