Dixon Downs Meeting Sparsely Attended

After a public hearing attended by less than a dozen residents in Dixon, Calif. Thursday, Magna Entertainment Corporation was prepared to take the next major step for its proposed Dixon Downs racetrack – preparation of a draft environmental impact report.

Dixon economic development director Marshall Drack said that other than a couple of questions about traffic on the main road leading from the 260-acre track site to Interstate 80, there was little discussion.

"We virtually had no comments," Drack told The Fairfield Daily Republic. "Everybody asked about the traffic on Pedrick Road, but we had already studied that."

"They're probably not many examples of projects that will have more opportunities to inform the public and receive comments from the public such as this one," said Steve Reiner, one of nine consultants hired by the city and paid for by Magna. "We're following the directive of the city manager and city staff to have as much interchange as possible as the city proceeds with its review."

Consultants can begin the environmental impact study, according to Drack. It is expected to take six months to complete and must be circulated for 45 days of public review before the city of Dixon can take it under consideration.

Magna is proposing to spend an estimated $250 million on a California mission-style track and training facility, stabling for 1,600 horses and a pavillion/grandstand that would accommodate up to 6,800 patrons. A 1.25-million square foot commercial complex, including a 240-room hotel and conference center, restaurants, cinema complex and department stores, would be constructed in a second phase.

The facility would be served by two freeway exits along I-80 about 20 miles west of Sacramento. Dixon is a town of about 16,000.