The 408MX motocross facility is our Monterey Highway neighbor and a huge part of the motorcycling community in the South Bay. But 408MX is currently fighting to stay in their home at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds thanks to a 100% rent increase that will take effect over the course of the next two years. The Fairgrounds Management Company notified 408MX of the increase early this month at the behest of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
We would be sorely disappointed if 408MX was forced out by this outrageous increase, not only because some of our staff and many of our customers ride at 408MX, but because San Jose and the dirt community at large will lose yet another place to play.
The following is an open letter to the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors posted on the 408MX website. You can view the letter HERE. Please copy and paste the letter and email it individually to the list of County Supervisors listed below.
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors,
I am writing you today with great urgency over the proposed elimination of a small business located on Santa Clara County Fairgrounds property. The business I am referring to is 408MX. 408MX is a motocross track, one of the few remaining in Northern California, dedicated to the promotion of safe, family, off-road motorcycling.
On November 1, 2013 408mx was given notice, by Delana Romero, Interim Executive Director of the Fairgrounds Management Corporation (FMC), of her intent to increase licensing fees of facility use by over 100% in the next two years, effective January 1, 2014. Her letter states this is under the guidance and direction of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. In a meeting with her, the same day, she indicated that if the contract were not renewed she would be moving forward with a lease to a facility contractor for equipment storage while it works on a large corporate project.
Although at face value this appears to be a landlord tenant dispute, it is much more. Any business burdened with a rent increase of a 100% in the next 14 month is being provided a clear message to vacate the premises. 408MX is a small business that provides a safe family gathering place at the Fairgrounds. Many of its employees are students that attend local colleges.
This is a strong arm tactic to close a small business! As a constituent I feel it is time to promote small businesses to flourish within our community. In 2009 the County voted not to sell the Fairgrounds to a developer in an attempt to promote a central location for family gathering If the intent is to close the track and make way for a developer to store their equipment while they work on another project, what community goal is being met? The proposed use is a short term fix to the detriment of the community as a whole and a small business owner.
Slowly Santa Clara Fairgrounds Management Corporation has been moving away from providing a family gathering facility by licensing space to commercial businesses that provide no value to the community. An example is the car dealership fronting the property at Monterey Highway.
408mx, one of the current tenants, has made extensive improvements to the fairgrounds and NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE to the county or its management group. These improves include, but are not limited to, 1.) improvements to the parking lot to control annual flooding 2.) installation of additional drainage to help control flood issues, and 3.) repairs to parking lot pump system. The FMC is capitalizing on improvements, provided by small business owner (408MX), by removing a small business to make way for a large short term corporate project.
It could be argued that 408mx is not paying competitive licensing rates, however 408MX has not added to budget woes suffered by the Fairgrounds, quite the contrary, it has provided the fairgrounds with steady income over the years in good times and bad. In addition, it has met the goal of the County to provide a family gathering place.
408MX also contributes significantly to the prosperity and tax base of Santa Clara County. Because it is motorsports related every participant buys vehicles, parts, fuel, snacks, etc. to attend an open day at the track. The purchase of supplies and equipment is concentrated within Santa Clara County businesses due to the fact that no other facility within the area caters to the motocross community. Dealerships, repair facilities, fuel stations, apparel dealers, etc. will all feel the direct impact of this closure.
The management corporation has declared they are acting under your direction We are asking you to revisit this issue and cap the current licensing rates moving forward.
Please email the above letter individually to the following Santa Clara County Supervisors:
Supervisor Mike Wasserman – District 1
Supervisor Cindy Chavez – District 2
Supervisor Dave Cortese – District 3
Supervisor Ken Yeager – District 4
Supervisor Joe Simitian – District 5
Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder’s Office
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