RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- Vocal opposition from neighbors, public criticism from Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris and planning and zoning issues -- the proposed racetrack complex near Branson Airport keeps hitting speed bumps. The latest to go up is from a federal agency. The developers, however, say they are keeping the pedal to the metal.
"I've been involved in a lot of large projects in my life, and there are problems," said Branson Sports Entertainment Complex Director of Development and Construction Tom Gammon.
Work on the proposed Taney County racetrack is at a standstill but the project is still moving forward.
"I've built enough buildings and developed enough to know that there are going to be things that crop up that we didn't anticipate, and we'll deal with those as we come," Gammon said.
One of those hiccups came from the Department of Natural Resources last February.
"Grading -- we were inside the permit area, but we cleared some outside of it," said Gammon.
The developers applied for a permit, gained one and moved on. Then, in July, MDNR sent the developers a letter that said they'd disturbed more land than they were permitted to disturb, and ordered them to apply for a permit to disturb a larger area. Now, another hiccup arose -- this time from the Army Corps of Engineers.
"It's a violation of section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Corps regulates putting in any fill in streams or wetlands," said Rocky Presley, project manager of the Corps' local Regulatory Division.
The Corps of engineers says this type of violation is not unusual for large projects like the race track. These types of issues pop up.
"It's not a big fight with the Corps; it's not some huge violation," said Gammon.
Gammon says it's just a minor detail.
"It's just a process. It's like any other permit process," he said.
It's a process that has had its share of opposition.
"We understand there will be opposition and there will always be those opposed to us, and that's just part of being in the development business," Gammon said.
Another showdown with Taney County Planning and Zoning is on the horizon.
"We still have issues to go through with the Board of Adjustment. There is still an appeal filed at the Board of Adjustment."
Gammon says there is still plenty of optimism fueling the project.
"I think the overall majority here in Taney County support us."
The Board of Adjustment hearing is scheduled for Nov. 16. That's when all appeals from both the developers and opposition will be heard. The developers don't expect to resume work until the appeal process is over.