P.O. Box 773
Rainier WA 98576




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Noise Map

Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group (RVNG)

Background and History and Expenses


The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group (RVNG) was formed to stop a noisy dusty ORV racetrack from being imposed on rural residents of south Thurston County near the town of Rainier.

The Mahan family proposed an off-road vehicle motocross track that would have been located on their farm at 12307 Vail Cut Off Rd SE, in Rainier, WA. This area of Rainier is zoned Rural Residential Resource (RRR 1/5). The track would have had parking for 97 vehicles, a 12,000 square foot “day lodge”, restrooms, and overnight parking for RVs as well as music and entertainment. They requested a Special Use Permit (SUP) for a full commercial Motocross Park to allow the following:

  • Open year round

  • Track running 4 days/week from 8:am to 7:30pm, mostly weekends

  • Up to 50 motocross bikes at a time running on the track

  • Includes Mud Drags, Rally Cars, Tuff Truck

  • Weekly practice sessions for races and tournaments

RVNG is made up of several hundred rural neighbors and Thurston County citizens whose home values and quality of life would have been affected by the NOISE and other unwanted impacts of the proposed Cadillac Ranch Motocross race track.

RVNG is made of rural property dwellers who know that residences don't mix with motocross tracks --  it is common sense! The residents in this area signed petitions, sent letters to Thurston County Planner, Robert Smith, and some spoke at the Public Hearing that started July 29th, 2013. The Mahan's told the County that 99% of the neighbors are in favor -- this is not correct!

RVNG was formed to oppose the intrusion of this off-road racing facility into rural Thurston County.


Click on Noise Map..


Our main concerns  about a commercial track have been:

  1. Continual Noise! Noise! Noise!

  2. Environmental impact – air emissions, fuel leaks into water supply, wildlife

  3. Safety - Increased Traffic on narrow rural roads and rowdiness with little law enforcement

  4. Decreased quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods

  5. Decreased property values

  6. Self-monitoring by Cadillac Ranch was unacceptable.

  7. There would be sparse law enforcement oversight due to limited county budget.

  8. If approved, this race track would have altered the rural nature of our area forever and set a dangerous precedent in rural Thurston County.  It could have meant that nearly any activity/busines that someone wants on their property could be allowed by Thurston County, no matter how it impacted neighbors.

The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group was formed to oppose a huge change to rural Rainier and our neighborhood. The race track, as proposed, would have affected the entire rural area for miles around and not just Vail Cut Off Road. The noise alone can be heard for a three mile radius from the track. Based on the experience of other tracks in other neighborhoods/counties/states, we could also expect an increase in spectator traffic and noise.


In the spring of 2013, Thurston County approved the environmental part (SEPA) of the Cadillac Ranch's proposal to build a commercial off-road racetrack on property zoned rural residential. In other words, the county determined that the track would not have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood or the Deschutes River as long as the noise, the dust, the traffic, the fuel leaks, and so on, were all mitigated as promised by Cadillac Ranch???

RVNG appealed this SEPA Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS); the hearing for this appeal was held July 29, 30, and the morning of Aug. 1, 2013.

The hearing that took up the rest of August 1st was on the request for a Special Use Permit (SUP) that the Mahan family needed to operate the ORV track. The public had the opportunity to voice their support or opposition to this track, either by spoken testimony or written comments.

Hearing Examiner Sharon Rice considered both the SEPA appeal and the SUP request, together, and delivered her decision on August 29, 2013.

Thursday August 29, 2013, will go down in local history. The Hearing Examiner ruled that, ‘because the applicants did not demonstrate compliance with the special use permit criteria, the proposed land use cannot be allowed in the underlying zoning district’.  Thus, the Special Use Permit was denied, the SEPA and MDNS were ordered to be withdrawn, and the SEPA appeal was dismissed.

Read the full decision, briefs, and testimonies at: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/hearing/appeals/rvn-appeal.html 

Evidence of neighbor support for the legal steps taken by RVNG:

  • 299 of us submitted written testimony

  • 50+ people gave verbal testimony at a microphone during the Public Hearing

  • 400 signed a petition

  • 79 families have donated cash

Look what we have done! The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group appreciates all that everyone has done to support a quiet, peaceful, harmonious neighborhood in Rainier and also to maintain the rural character of all rural Thurston County.



Another huge thank you to all who have donated funds to help support this endeavor. It is a costly one and more than we anticipated - $66,000 to achieve this!!!
In April 2013, just 5 families and a donor pooled their savings to get RVNG started. A Motocross Race Track in any rural neighborhood does not work!

Here is an overview of where we stand financially, as of July 21, 2014:
Total Expenses (attorneys’ fees, filing fees, expert testimony fees): $ 66,000
Donations received from 79 households:  ($ 60,000)
Balance not yet paid: $ 6,000

As you can see, donations have helped tremendously. All of us have done a terrific job – we just have about 9% of the total left to pay off!

Given all this, can you donate $100 or more?

What you can do now:

  • Make a secure donation via credit/debit card or PayPal by going to our  Donate page.

  • Send a check to:  RVNG, PO Box 773, Rainier WA 98576

  • Donations may also be made, anonymously, at a “drop box" at Lemuria Boutique / Mail Unlimited in Yelm.

  • Pledge: If you’d like to donate more to RVNG than you can give right now, please let us know of your intent to pledge by sending an email to vailneighborgroup@gmail.com .
    For example, a pledge of $100 could be given in four monthly increments of $25 each. A pledge of $200 could be $50/month for four months, or $25/month for eight months.

Thank you!

Let’s stay aware of what is happening in our rural area!!

                  .....The Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group

We have no overhead, no paid staff. 
contributions have gone to support
our efforts to preserve our rural heritage
and quality of life in Thurston County.

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Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group
P.O. Box 773
Rainier WA 98576

Contact us by email:  vailneighborgroup@gmail.com
or phone: 360-446-5538

All rights reserved Rainier Vail Neighborhood Group 2014