Noise issues continue in Riverside County

December 8, 2005 12:45pm

We got a call this morning from four-time AMA Motocross/Supercross Champion Jeff Emig, a resident of Riverside County in California and a concerned enthusiast. Fro was worried about the following article he spotted in the Press-Enterprise newspaper by Kimberly Trone about how sound issues continue to cloud the use of off-road and motocross motorcycles in the county. 

“The Riverside County Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously endorsed two companion proposals aimed at muffling noise from off-road vehicles and limiting the hours and locations they can operate,” said the paper. “The five-member commission’s recommendations are expected to go to the county board of supervisors for consideration in late January.

“They come more than a year after planners began exploring ways to address resident’s complaints about dust and noise caused by motorcycles and other off-road vehicles. Under the recommended noise ordinance, lawn mowers to motorcycles and backyard bands would be required to operate at fewer than 65 decibels or less between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sixty-five decibels is equivalent to normal-to-loud conversation. Restrictions on nighttime noise would be greater. The ordinance would affect the unincorporated county areas.

“A second ordinance endorsed by the commission would limit riding periods to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on private parcels of two acres or more, with a minimum buffer of 50 feet for off-vehicle operations. Those parcels must additionally be zoned for off-road use.”

The Press-Enterprise article continues discussing the problems with enforcing these laws if they are passed. It’s difficult for officers to chase off-roaders into hundred-acre riding areas in a cruiser. Private land owners that ride on their property will be most affected if this proposal is passed. Two such land owners, Jeremy McGrath and Mark Prescott, are trying to reason with the planning commission. Prescott has already spent over $15,000 in attorneys’ fees fighting for the right to ride on his land.

Stay tuned for more on this ongoing sound saga.