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OHV concerns meeting tonight

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April 16, 2003 11:48AM
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Hesperia meeting targets dirt bikes

Complaints force city officials to hold workshop on ways to cut nuisance

By CHRISTINA L. ESPARZA/Staff Writer

HESPERIA Complaints of dust and noise from off-road motorcycles
in Hesperia has prompted city officials to hold a workshop tonight. In it, they
plan to explore ways to reduce the nuisance.

There are already ordinances on the books that deal with dust and noise
issues, but tonight's workshop is scheduled to explore options to further
refine them, said City Engineer Mike Podegracz. The City Council will look at
ways to either increase or decrease restrictions.

"We have received complaints from citizens," Podegracz said. "Motorcycles
are driving too close to homes. They're concerned for the dust and noise,
especially on windy days."

Podegracz said equestrian riders are also upset off-road motorcycle
enthusiasts are riding on equestrian trails.

To address the concern, the city's staff has looked at regulations in 14 other
cities as possible options. Nine of the cities had no ordinances that are specific
to off-road motorcycles, and the five others required written permission from
property owners before a motorcyclist can ride on the property, according to the
staff report.

In Apple Valley, written permission is required, but an ordinance also states
that no dust may leave the property on which the motorcycle is riding.

Opponents to this type of ordinance say it infringes on property owners'
rights.

"Basically ... it would stop people from riding dirt bikes on their own land,"
said Hesperia resident Al Guzman, 64, an off-road vehicle enthusiast. "This is
open desert up here. ... It's a good family sport."

Hesperia Mayor Dennis Nowicki said he hopes to maintain a dialogue with
area pro-motorcyclists and their detractors to arrive at a workable solution.

One option, he suggested, is to work with the Parks and Recreation
Department to provide space for motorcyclists to ride.

Planning Commissioner Diana Nourse agreed.

"A lot of people come to the desert because they have access to ride," said
Nourse, adding that she enjoys off-road activities herself. The conflict is "the
usual rural vs. urban tug the city of Hesperia has been experiencing for the
last 10 or 12 years."

Nourse said she hopes off-road enthusiasts attend the meeting to rally
enough support to change the current regulation.

Councilman Tad Honeycutt said he is opposed to any ordinance that steps
on the toes of property owners.

"I am a strong believer in personal property rights," Honeycutt said. "The
thing is, we kind of need to address the needs of all property owners,"
including those who want to ride their motorbikes in their own back yards.

More than likely, tonight's workshop will lead to another before the issue is
resolved, city officials said.

Christina L. Esparza can be reached at christina_esparza@link.freedom.com
or 951-6233.

SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

OHV concerns meeting tonight

katrina island 833April 16, 2003 11:48AM

Re: OHV concerns meeting tonight

LaughingBear 959April 18, 2003 07:44AM



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