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San Bernardino County Passes OHV Ordinance

BAKERSFIELD, CA (April 11,2006) –On April 11, 2006 The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an OHV ordinance that is fair to both off-roaders in the county and residents who have valid complaints. Early on in this process David Hubbard, attorney for EcoLogic, suggested the formation of a group of stakeholders composed of environmentalists, OHV organizations and community groups from around the county. The goal of this group was to find a compromise on this sometimes very contentious issue and then go before the Supervisors united in their support for the agreement reached. After two very long meetings the stakeholders agreed on the language used in this ordinance.

The compromise includes no property line setbacks, no maximum number of bikes per acre, no restrictive riding period, and no permit process for the person wanting to ride on their own property and not use that property as a staging area. A permit is only required if the property owner plans on staging more than 10 OHV’s on a property. It does include a process by which residents can seek judicial relief from nuisance and harassment. The ordinance includes a noise element requiring OHV’s ridden on private property to measure 96dba at the pipe, the same standard required on California public lands. Also, the language in this ordinance gives enforcement powers to both County Code Enforcement and the Sheriff’s department.

David Hubbard, attorney for EcoLogic stated “I would like to thank all parties involved in this process.” Meg Grossglass of ORBA commented “I hope the process by which this ordinance was crafted is repeated in counties looking at similar ordinances. Other counties have not taken into consideration the needs of all members of their constituency, San Bernardino County wanted to address those concerns and followed through with an ordinance that is fair and reasonable to all citizens.”

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