City Officials Want to Destroy RC Off-Road Track Because It’s a ‘Nuisance’

Fresno reportedly helped RC car fans build an off-road course, but now it wants the community attraction gone.

FOX26 via YouTube

A bizarre showdown is brewing between the City of Fresno in California and a group of local RC car enthusiasts. The group of toy car fans tells FOX26 that the city is forcing it to abandon a former patch of dirt that the group turned into a tiny rock crawling course for remote-controlled cars. Fresno city officials are reportedly “bullying” the group off the artificial course despite having originally helped to build it, donating some of the material used in its construction, according to Vince Contreras of V&B Speed.

Contreras is a member of the group that built the off-road course (dubbed the F.F.C.) near the corner of Yale and Pleasant Avenue in Northwest Fresno, as FOX26 reports. The rock crawling course is right off the parking lot of a strip mall that hosts Cycle Art Racing, a store specializing in remote-controlled cars and trucks. Any official connection between the store and the group of RC fans who built the course, however, is unclear.

Cycle Art also sells parts to build gnarly RC vehicles for those who prefer their own custom model instead of buying one off-the-shelf. The store even has an indoor oval track officially named “Outta Control Speedway” where RC car builders can go to race their hand-built machines. It’s totally rad, and it gives us some added insight into the community, which obviously takes its hobby pretty seriously.

Cycle Art Racing

The F.F.C. feels like a natural extension to the oval track hosted by Cycle Art Racing—an off-road course where tiny RC crawlers can go to compete with other rigs, and generally just get up to what looks like some good wholesome fun. Who among us wouldn’t love to take a mean little 4×4 over some sick berms and flip it on concrete hills or rocks? This appears to be a mostly harmless use of what was once a strip of dry weeds and loose dirt, as photographs from Google Maps show.

Google Maps

But Fresno city officials now seem to have a problem with the off-road course, which may have expanded into something bigger than the city expected. Indeed, the course does seem to have grown beyond a few ruts and hills. Officials also claim that the remote-controlled car enthusiasts are “racing in the street, blocking traffic, and have been a nuisance to the community,” per FOX26. In a statement shared with the news outlet, the City of Fresno called the off-road course an “attractive nuisance […] built on a City easement,” and said that it needs to be removed for safety reasons. The city went on to say, “it’s only a matter of time before a child plays on the dangerous terrain and is injured or seriously hurt.”

Contreras has tried to address the concerns by saying that the seven-month-old course is used only after businesses in the area have closed for the day. And he denies any claims of the group’s disregard for traffic safety. The whole point of the course, says Contreras, is to build an RC community and to keep a “positive vibe.” Contreras points to the people who regularly visit the course for the remote-controlled trucks and SUVs, saying that families often come to the events. He claims the loss of the course would be devastating to kids, grandmas, and a lot of guys, or “grown men,” alike. In other words, kids big and small. Contreras is currently asking city council members to grant him a permit to keep using the location, or, at least, to grant the F.F.C. a new location. The city says he has until the end of the month to remove the course.

FOX26 via YouTube

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