Marysville City Council is expected to take a final vote Aug. 8 on an ordinance that would restrict the use of off-road vehicles within city limits.
Councilwoman Deborah Groat said she doesn’t think a new law is needed because residents’ concerns can be addressed through a disorderly conduct law already in place.
“I fail to see why the current concerns of the city cannot be addressed by current legislation,” she said at council’s July 25 meeting. “I do not think further legislation for the use of all-purpose vehicles on private property is a necessary infringement of a property owner’s right. A reasonable compromise, in my opinion, would be a zoning amendment which zones race tracks in city limits to reasonable locations.”
Residents have complained about a dirt bike track on Fourth Street.
Neighbors and city officials have been addressing the situation through disorderly conduct and unreasonable noise charges, but public safety committee Chairman Mark Reams said police officers believe the existing legislation is difficult to enforce.
Council Vice President Tracy Richardson pointed out that the issue is something residents have been dealing with for more five.
“When the chief of police is telling you we need some teeth to fix the problem, I think that was the catalyst for us to look at opportunities to remedy the situation on behalf of the community,” Richardson said.
The ordinance bans the use of all-purpose vehicles on any property within the city unless the operator has written permission to ride on land the rider does not own. It also says such vehicles cannot be operated within 100 feet of any public sidewalk or within 120 feet of any public street where a sidewalk does not exist; nor can they be operated within 25 feet of any adjoining property line.
The proposed ordinance says all-purpose vehicles can only be used on property within city limits between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and says property owners have to limit the number of such vehicles operating on the property to three at a time.
There are exceptions in the proposed ordinance for operating all-terrain vehicles, including medical or health emergencies; cutting grass, plowing fields or any agricultural activity; by law enforcement and school district personnel in the course of their duties; at the Union County Fairgrounds with permission from the fair board or its agent; by county and city personnel, with permission of county commissioners and the director of administration, respectively.