Alan Wilzig, heir to a banking empire, began planning a racetrack at his country estate in Columbia County several years ago but the issue really started to heat up once his neighbors discovered the scope of the project. The mile-long track would be a “recreational sporting course” where he could drive his collection of 60-plus motorcycles with reckless abandon. While town officials are adamant that any commercial use would be illegal, a rather spirited and outspoken group of residents are determined to wave the black flag on Wilzig’s plans.

While most people would ensure such an expense was completely legal before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, Wilzig began construction first then started asking questions later. After the town Zoning Board of Appeals turned his proposition down, he retaliated by applying for a permit registered for “club or recreational use” under a 1972 zoning code.

Wilzig has allegedly spent more than $300,000 on sound berms and acoustic tests to ensure that track noise falls within legal noise limits. The township has been divided into those who feel that the track would destroy property values and those who feel that Wilzig has been respectful and empathetic to the apprehension of his neighbors. The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing next month on the proposal of Wilzig’s backyard professional-level racetrack. Such a ruling could settle the issue at hand, but my guess is that the neighborhood battle will rage on.


  • John

    It’s his property. There was a time when that meant something in this country. As long as he’s not bothering anyone (and it appears he took the noise issue seriously) it shouldn’t matter what he does on it as long as he doesn’t use it commercially.

  • Nancy

    Dear John, well this Wilzig and his racetrack DOES bother many people and the noise will be very annoying. He destroyed thousands of trees, many neighbors views, messed with nature with no regard, which is disgusting, and if you think for one second that he is only constructing this for personal use, you must be on acid. He has lied from inception. He was told he could not have a track before he bought the property, bought the property and built it anyway, had a web site inviting the world to our zip code. The board rejected him when he submitted his plans, the NY State Supreme court agreed with the planning board about its rejection, yet this man keeps filing and suing our town. Arrogant beyond belief for some self indulgent hobby. All points to him having a luxury (although abominable taste) racing club. Lie I said he lied all the way to today. WAKE UP! Bye bye property values. Seems most who don’t care, work for the man, sold property to him, have property contiguous to his (ahem) or think its no big deal. He is also waiting for his special order racing car. If anyone actually believes there will be no noise, no fumes, no spectators and down the road a destination, well you are quite ignorant, or bought and sold.

  • heywood

    Nancy, have you run out of vagasil? I’d be willing to mail a tube, free of charge.

  • Russ

    I think it is a great idea to put a track in YOUR OWN backyard. If it is his land then tough beans to any of those who don’t like it. It will not devalue the property if wilzig took the proper precausions for run-off, sound, etc. Looks like he did and is still making sure it is a viable project. The problem with Nancy here is that she is a person who values tennis and little dogs in purses. My guess she is also the type to look more in her car mirrors fixing her hair instead of focusing on the road ahead. Nancy I think if you live near this guy sell, sell, sell. I hope Wilzig gets his track. Oh and the fumes comment she made is a joke unless she has the nose of a bloodhound. I hope he cuts down more trees and makes room for a BBQ pavillion.

  • Nancy seems misinformed. The track is in a former cornfield. Not ONE tree was cut down to make way for it. I don’t have any cars on order, and I don’t sue our town this sanctimonious Granger Group that she surely belongs to , does. They sue me and the town over and over. She’d be too embarrased to say it – but they are still suing for the THIRD TIME over a stunning pre-rusted steel and stone storage building ( no noise there ; it’s just a building) I built with ever inspection and permit in place. The Court she refers to confirmed what the town said ” A paved track is not a customary accessory use”. Period. ALL THAT MEANS is that I had to apply to the Planning Board for specific site approval which I have done months ago. They ( Nancy , Grangers) are just an angry mob of 50 interminally bored left wing zealots who are frustrated because the facts do not align with their personal wishes. 300 acres isn’t enough for family and friends to ride a few bikes on ? When we could ( and do ) ride dirtbikes on that same gravel track for the last 2 years ? Come on. To them this is like a holy war against bikes and fun. To me it’s a matter of enjoying bikes on site with smooth tires versus knobby tires , period. IT’S VERY TELLING THAT MY REAL NEIGHBORS ARE COOL, BUT SOME WHO CAN’T POSSIBLY HEAR ANYTHING (based on the miles away that they live in relation to me) ARE THE RELENTLESS FIGHTERS.

  • Rich

    If you read the recent NY Times article, a qoute: “Alan is the only one receptive to dialogue and discussion” the Granger opponents just seem vicious in pursuit of their agenda. Look at the nasty neighbor who compared him to MADOFF. All Wilzig does is give his time and money to charity – and this JERK compares him to a man who singlehandedly bankrupted 100 charities ? Because Alan wants to ride his bikes ? How sick are these people ??? He spent his own money doing a noise study to show a farm tractor would make more noise; I call that sensitive to the neighbors.

    He’s a 44 year old guy with two young kids…..who I’ve known for 20 years , You couldn’t find a more friendly caring man who would give you the shirt off his back. That opponent group must surely know after 3 years they have nothing to actually WORRY about. It’s just become a vendetta at this point. Let him enjoy “HIS” property.

  • Cameron Jagooe

    To Nancy: Get of your high horse. Seriously. If he’s already riding dirtbikes and you didn’t know that, then you will not notice his sportbikes.

    To Alan: Awesome idea! I love it!

  • Max D.

    Nancy et al are just looking for a scapegoat for the housing market crash. Rock on, Alan! I’ve always wanted my own personal racetrack.

  • Alex Bub

    Go for it, Alan. I’m tired of people without our passion dictating what we can and can’t do in our lives, if it’s legal. I own 35 acres and teach dirt bike and ATV schools out back. 7 years and not one noise complaint, and my township said I don’t even need a conditional use permit (I had formally requested one). As a trained acoustic expert on motor vehicles I like your pro-active approach to the subject, most people don’t do the prpoerty line noise survey first. Hopefully it was witnessed by the local board? 300 acres… very cool, and lots of room for a noise buffer area.

  • B Harris

    People like Nancy are the down fall of this country. Suing people have changed everything for the worse. As for Alan, good,for you! It’s your land and you should have every right to use it the way you want. Have fun dragging knee. Let me know if you need help baking some tires.