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Orange County

Motocross Track Back in Business

Racing: County officials allow Irvine Lake course to reopen today on temporary permit.


The on-again, off-again motocross track in the Cleveland National Forest is on again, officials said late Monday.

The Saddleback Motocross Park, in a dry portion of the Irvine Lake bed, has been closed since Labor Day weekend because of permit problems related to unauthorized grading. It will temporarily reopen at 8 a.m. today after a reversal by county officials Monday night.

County officials maintained that the course's operator, Saddleback Motorsports Partners LLC, had obtained an improper temporary-use permit. But when informed by representatives of Saddleback Motorsports that they had obtained the proper permits and releases from state and federal agencies, county officials reversed their decision.

"I'm relieved," said Brad Etter of Saddleback Motorsports. "This is the right thing for the county to do."

Brian Murphy, a spokesman for the county planning department, emphasized that the permit is temporary.

"On several conditions, we are issuing a temporary permit," Murphy said. "We have to be satisfied with the information they give us before another permit is issued."

Murphy said the temporary permit will probably be issued through Dec. 10. The park will be open today, Thursday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to dusk.

Murphy said the county still has concerns about traffic, health and safety in the Woody's Cove area of Irvine Lake.

During its four-day run in September, the closed-course park attracted more than 1,000 motorcycle-racing enthusiasts.

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