City Orders Man To Shut Down Dirt Bike Track In His Yard

ST. MICHAEL (WCCO) — A dirt bike track in St. Michael is creating noise with some neighbors.

Judd Billings built it years ago as an outlet for kids to have fun- for free. However, lately, some people living near his property have gone to the city to complain. Now, Billings is trying to keep his track intact.

“I think it’s important when kids are growing up to learn other things rather than Nintendo. And they need to get out and experience things,” said Billings.

When it comes to providing a place where kids can have fun, Billings says he is full throttle. Years ago, he built a hockey rink on his St. Michael property, which he turns into a batting cage in the summer.

His three kids, along with the neighborhood kids, can use it for free.

He didn’t stop there. He also has a dirt bike track on his property.

About 8 years ago, Billings designed the dirt bike course in his backyard. His 9-year-old daughter, Kari, has practically grown up on it.

“It feels great. I love having this track because you get to whip around it, you know, and show off a little,” said Kari.

Brian Friede is one of the neighbors who enjoy the track being there.

“It’s kind of like a neighborhood park and it’s just for the kids. So, it’s a great place for them to hang out and stay out of trouble I think,” said Friede.

Not everyone feels that way, however. Recently, some of Billings’ neighbors approached the city council about his dirt bike course. In a letter, they described the course as a noise pollutant which has the effect of being, “annoying, distracting, painful, and physically harmful.”

One neighbor, who didn’t want to go on camera, said she cannot have a conversation with her husband outside while the track is being used.

So, they asked the city to put the brakes on Billings track. The city council voted 7-0 to shut down Judd’s track. In the end, they say the city ordinance does not allow for this type of activity in a residential neighborhood.

“Extreme disappointment,” said Billings. “I wish I would have represented the kids better.”

Billings says since the ruling, parents have approached him telling him they are saddened by the news, and for the kids who will no longer be able to ride.

“No bike paths, no playground. not a lot for the kids to do out here, and they just took something more away from the kids. I guess they won,” said Billings.

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  • wildkingdom

    Bummer for the kids. I wonder if this is a case where he’s been there for years and a neighborhood built up around him, and now they complain about the noise. Happens with airports too. Yes, zoning problems, but it seems he must have some pretty good amount of acreage to be able to do all those sports on his lot. Let the kids have fun. Otherwise, don’t complain when they’re hanging out and getting in trouble.

    • Ken

      It happens out near our home in farm country too. People move to the country in developments that resemble the residential nieghborhoods of the cities and complain about the noise the cows are making.

  • Smiley7276

    Be serious if you are going to comment.

    If someone is going to claim they cannot hear a conversation when people are using the track – are they serious? Sometimes I think people are just jealous of oher people’s things. He sounds like a good guy who is just in a neighborhood of uptight, unfun people. I was wondering the same thing – if he was there first?

    • John G.

      I was wondering if you ever lived beside someone that has a dirtbike track? Easy to pass judgement when it’s not you that has to listen to it. I don’t think it has anything to do with jealousy, but more of an annoyance to have to listen to the noise all day long.

  • insignificant

    looks like he built the track abit too close to the road,eh? or perhaps his property is only,say,5 acres and houses all around him?and dirt bikes are usually loud and hearing a few of ’em buzzing around all day isn’t the most pleasant o’ sounds,eh? suggestion to Judd for the kids…an archery range

    • Former Rider

      Most cities/towns do not allow archery inside of city limits on your own land (except for business). Oh..if you don’t like bikes don’t build near a track.

  • Former Rider

    Percy…your an idiot.

    I agree with Smiley. It looks like people built near him and are now whining. I managed a track in Iowa for 7 years with no issues. A developer started putting up houses and for two years straight we had a complaint lodged every day of the year (including when there was 3 foot of snow covering the track). We were re-zoned and had our land pulled out from under us. Thanks to their selfishness, it not only ended a track that had been there for nearly 30 years, but it also impacted our non-profit motorcycle club’s ability to donate to the boys and girls homes. Annually we provided nearly $15K a year from what we made at the track.

    Too many a-holes like this guys neighbors who think own more than they do. I hope this guy call a complaint on them every time the make any noise. It will serve them right to be harassed. Its amazing when someone does something for kids and these jerks ruin it because the feel infringed on. Oh and by the way, these 4 stroke bike are half as loud as the 2 strokes from my days. They are full of @$#% if they think its noise pollution.

    • @dirtdonkrider

      Old rider could you possibly know less, Do you think this guy built a big dirt bike track on a farm then a developer built around him? We were given few details, so stop acting like a grumpy old dirt bike rider that never was anything, do you think all these bikes are 4 strokes, you do realize old bikes are commonly still rode on junk tracks.

      • Former Rider

        Watch the video…The batting cage / ice rink are built next to an old barn. Its likely a former farm. So yes, it looks like it was built on a farm and the houses near it look newer and recently built. No they didn’t say it, but it sure looks that way to me so I voiced my opinion on the subject. As far as being an old grumpy dirt bike rider…Not grumpy at all. In fact I consider myself a slightly older ATV rider who uses the trails and riding areas available in the state. Having been around tracks and racing for 30 plus years, I am sure I know more about what people ride than some punk a-hole that feels the need to attack me personally. I also believe in peoples land rights especially when the are doing something for kids and they were there before these people moved in.

    • @rearendrider

      Look at the guys house, living birth defect old rider, its as new as every house in the development. I can’t blast expolding fireworks off at my house, No 1 needs to listen to this for 5 hours a day either, flatten the field and play baseball,soccer and football or ride bmx bikes.

      • Former Rider

        So I find that most people who attack a person with gay labels are generally closeted gays themselves. Unfortunately their snide comments are insult to the G & L community. Is that the case with you?

        See I can play this juvenile game too. If don’t agree with me that’s fine but if you want to attack me, I guess I will pull out your little secret for everyone to see as well…

        Maybe instead of shutting it down, work with the guy to set acceptable hours for letting the kids have fun and stay out of trouble.

  • Angus

    When the kids get bored and get into trouble, i.e. spray paint, destruction, remember what the neighbors took away from them. Wonder if they had cheese and crackers with their whine.

    Just hope the kids don’t decided to take revenge on the complainers. Could get nasty

  • Charlie Halbleib

    The guy should either have had the thing grandfathered in, or contacted the AMA as soon he knew people were complaining. LOTS of people around the country forget they were kids once and actively work against kids rights to ride anything motorized, for fear it’s “too dangerous”.

    Best of luck to this fella–I hope he can offer another opportunity to the neighborhood kids.

  • Ben

    Couple of questions:

    Ordinance to ride on your own property??? Say again? You have to be kidding me! I can see if he was charging to ride, but it is free to all.

    Does he not have a right to know where the complaints are coming from? And, you’re telling me that there is an ordinance that says “No motorbikes on your property”??? Not that I condone such a thing, but I would expect payback from the kids to those complaining.

    May be an extreme example, but my lawn mower is over 30 years old and loud… Does that mean my neighbors have right tell me I can’t use my lawn mower on my property?

    • Tc Kelly

      Yea Ben, even tho it is your property, the city controls most of what you do on it.

  • Tc Kelly

    I have an idea, how about bicycles? It sure would be much better for them anyways!

  • City Orders Man To Shut Down Dirt Bike Track In His Yard « CBS Minnesota

    […] [check out the report] Share this No comments // […]

  • think about it

    Why was this story reported by WCCO? I’m guessing the guy called them and asked them to do a story showing his side of it in hopes that he’d get his track back. You only heard one side to the story. I’m trusting the city council who voted 7-0 listened to both sides of the stories. Are you all that clueless that you can’t see a one sided story?

    As for the kids, they don’t own property, they don’t pay taxes, they can quit being dumb kids…use a bit of creativity and find a different past time. Who was paying for the liablitly insurance on the “free” thing anyway? I have almost four times as many kids as this guy does and I don’t allow my children’s pleasure to be at the cost of other people. To raise kids to believe the world centers around them is going to give us a sad, sad world.

    • wow!

      For your info!!! They had the meetings without him! They did it behind is back! And for the kids! Do know them??? Did you know what they do??? What right do you have to call them dumb kid!! I feel sorry for your kids if you can talk like that!!!!!!

    • wow!

      For your info!!! They had the meetings without him! They did it behind his back! And for the kids! Do know them??? How do you know what they do??? What right do you have to call them dumb kid!! I feel sorry for your kids if you can talk like that!!!!!!

      • wowser!

        I feel sorry for your kids if you are so uptight that you consider “dumb kids” a negative comment.

        Since when are public meetings held in private? If you are right that the meetings really were held behind his back….that is just plain wrong. Do you have proof?

        Do all kids who don’t ride motorbikes end up in trouble? Isn’t it possible that these kids might move on to other activities such as baseball, etc? I feel sorry for the ex-biker kids if the predictions listed here regarding their futures are their destinies.

    • no, YOU think about it

      You have almost 12 kids? And I hope you’re right that Billings called ‘CCO to help get back his track. He should.

      About the only smart comment you made was regarding liability insurance.

  • get a life

    The track was there before the neighbor was!!They moved in knowing that the track was there! The sad thing is that the kids did not use it everyday! if they did use it, it was only until 8pm. Now you have all these kids with nothing to do!!! Some people need to get over themselves! What is this world coming too!! You can’t do what you what on your own property! Wow lady get a life!

  • See BS

    Socialism is such a bummer.

    • sean

      St Michael is a solidly GOP community. Guit being an ickwad and making everything a socialists make the world a problem. Get a life. When you see BS you must be looking in the mirror

      • See BS

        No reason to get so socialismy with me dude.

  • Pork Chop Fan

    I’m guessing you don’t run your lawn mower every day, for hours at a time.

  • Pork Chop Fan

    Whatever happened to just riding bikes? Do 9 year olds nees to be riding dirt bikes? Funny how he comments about Nintendo, then promotes riding a gas powered bike vs. a manually powered bike. Hopefully he gets to keep the ice rink and batting cage.

  • Jackie

    Maybe the kids should QUIETLY go break into houses and vehicles. This will keep the naggy neighbors quiet, until they are a victim.

    • John G.

      Where do you live, I want to build a track next door.

  • jeff

    i hate nimby’s. (not in my back yard) this guy, it seems wasn’t even given a chance to cooperate with the neighbors. if all else fails then go to the city. but good lord try to work it out. this is what poor communication breeds. now instead of A neighbor having hard feelings everyone is upset. good job nimby!

    • Martin

      Neighbors tried to compromise – after the track was converted from bicycles to dirt bikes but the owner ignored agreed hours and then expanded the track. Now he comes crying when the neighbors went to the city. Brought it upon your self – he tried to play hard ball and state statutes got called into play which doomed him. You can read more here:

  • Al

    “No bike paths, no playground, not a lot for the kids to do out here…” and a city council that voted 7-0 against kids. Who would move a family to St. Michael?

  • xxxx

    Since the council voted out the track that was available to the kids, go back to the council and have them build and maintain another acceptable track for the children.

    This certainly seems like a good compromise. Since the council voted out the available track, have them build and maintain another one.

    Be safe

  • kj

    I can understand that people get tired of hearing the noise BUT you do have to remember that the kids are KEEPING OUT OF TROUBLE too!!! It’s very nice that he was willing to open his property up for all of the kids to enjoy the activities – that doesn’t happen too often at all! Part of the glamour of living out further is that you can enjoy these types of activities – that is until the PEOPLE who decide to move out fromt he cities come and complain! Just like reference of the cow odors! Who was there first…the cows and the farmer OR the city people who relocated??? They saw what was surround their new neighborhood BEFORE they purchased the home and saw nothing wrong with it then! Quit compalining and learn to get along!!! It happens in all neighborhoods but the unfortunate thing is that when you move further out the funding isn’t there to have paved trails, playgrounds, etc earily accessible for all to enjoy!!!

  • RetroDude

    Judd Billings is a self-serving moron. The only ‘value’ he’s teaching his kids is that ‘self’ comes first, over and above all others. His neighbors deserve peace and quiet. His kids can go to a real dirt bike track or he can purchase 100 acres where his neighbors don’t have to listen to his stupidity.

  • clvgb

    Hilarious!! Why don’t the kids ride BMX or just plain old regular bicycles. That’s much more exercise and a lot quieter. Or maybe they could play sandlot baseball. Why do some parents think kids can only have fun if it involves a motorized vehicle? I find it pretty annoying that the ones who complain about the folks who “whine” about the noise are the ones who are making the most noise on this forum. :-D Have a really good day and get off your butts and move, eh? Leave the motors in the garage.

  • HooDatIS?

    he should be able to keep that going, but change is for the better u cant always have what u want

  • Chris

    Stupid redneck. Typical redneck logic: make lots of noise in any and all activities (from the pipes on your motorcycle, gargantuan truck, or ATV, to guns, to stereos) to show the world that you matter. You can’t reason with them. You can’t make them understand that kids can do things that don’t involve noise. They haven’t moved cerebrally beyond the crib, and require that base-level type of stimulation from basic sounds and lights. Try reading a damn book! The only way to get a redneck and his stupid kids to shut up is to go to the authorities and/or sue. They understand nothing else. Nothing else. I don’t feel sorry for this jarhead one bit. Maybe now the kids will be forced to do something that will break them out of the cycle of redneck brainwashing into the way of annoying everything and everyone around you. By the way, rednecks. Have you ever considered a garbage bag for your garbage? Not sure why you consider throwing your McDonald’s bags and Polar Pop cups out your window and onto the side of the road appropriate. Does it make you feel special to do that? Does it make you feel like you have some control over your pointless existence?

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