Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Concerning proposed Ordinance Allowing Operation of Off Highway Vehicles on County Roads

In an effort to clarify facts surrounding Mesa County’s proposed Ordinance allowing the operation of “Off Highway Vehicles” (OHVs) on County roads, the Mesa County Commissioners offer a summary of the procedural steps involved in considering the Ordinance, and the conduct the proposed Ordinance would allow. (Links to view the proposed Ordinance are found within this advisory.)

Definition of Off Highway Vehicle: Off-Highway Vehicles are defined as any self propelled vehicle designed to travel on wheels in contact with the ground, primarily off of public highways, and generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes.

Agricultural use: Operation of Off Highway Vehicles for agricultural purposes, including on County roads, is allowed under Colorado Statute and will not change with the adoption of this ordinance.

Why are the Commissioners considering such an Ordinance? Colorado statutes allow for the use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on county roads upon adoption of an ordinances and regulations. (C.R.S. §33-14.5-101 through -110.) Several rural counties in central and western Colorado have allowed OHVs on their county roads. Mesa County is well-suited for such an ordinance.

The Commissioners believe an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on County roads will benefit the residents of Mesa County by increasing recreation and travel options, easier access to public lands and increased economic development opportunities.

Proposed Ordinance would allow:
1. Use of OHVs on all Mesa County roads in unincorporated Mesa County.
2. A person with a valid driver’s license, who is at least 16 years of age and who possesses minimum liability insurance coverage on the subject vehicle, to operate an OHV as a vehicle on Mesa County roads.
3. Maximum speed the lesser of: posted limit or 35 miles per hour.
4. OHVs equipped with muffler, spark arrester, breaking system, headlamp and tail lamp.

Proposed Ordinance would NOT:
a. Require additional licensing or fees assessed for use on County roads by Mesa County.
b. Allow use of OHVs on the State Highway System.
c. Allow use of OHVs within Municipalities (such as Fruita, Grand Junction, Collbran or Palisade).

Procedural timeframe: Any ordinance that the Board of Commissioners considers must adhere to the requirements of C.R.S. §30-15-405 and -406.
1. Notice that the ordinance will be “read” at a public hearing (Oct. 22);
2. First reading at public hearing (Oct. 27);
3. Publication of the complete ordinance in the Daily Sentinel;
4. Second reading at public hearing (to be determined);
5. If changes made at second reading, publish changes;
6. Ordinance may take effect 30 days after publication.

Public comments may be made at any of the public hearings (i.e., First reading, or Second reading) or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media.

Please check the Mesa County webpage or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Text of the proposed Ordinance: Proposed Ordinance may be found below and within the October 27, 2014 hearing binder

1 comment:

  1. We fully support the use of OHV's on designated County Roads for the reasons stated in the ordinance. Other county's and certainly other States have already realized the benefits of such an ordinance and we're glad to see Mesa County move in this direction.
    Thank you
    Dianna and Robert Beltz


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