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Douro-Dummer hosts public meeting on proposed ATV by-law
October 06, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
In March of this year, Weity Hamersma president of the Peterborough County Trails ATV Club (formerly Havelock & District ATV Club) appeared before Douro-Dummer council with two proposals. The first proposal was that ATVs be allowed on all secondary roads within the township, and the second proposal was to set up routes that would allow ATV users to head north to Apsley and beyond. The routes in question would use township and county roads as well as trails through some private lands.
Councillor Johnston suggested that a public meeting be held and Deputy Mayor Karl Moher moved that staff study the situation and report back to council.
In June CAO Dave Clifford explained to council that staff had looked at ATV by-laws in neighbouring municipalities and found most to be similar. Although ATVs are allowed on some roads, there have been restrictions on when and where off-road vehicles are permitted. Clifford also found that the original by-laws drafted to allow ATVs on municipal roads were set for one year so council could reflect on the pros and cons before initiating the bylaw on a full time basis.
Although in favour of drafting the bylaw, Mayor Jones said that nothing would be put in to place until a public meeting on the issue was held.
On September 27 Council held a Public Meeting to discuss a draft by-law to regulate the operation of off-road vehicles (ATVs) on municipal highways within the Township of Douro-Dummer.
Acting Chair, Deputy Mayor Karl Moher informed a full house that the evening’s purpose was to listen to the comments on the issue and the proposed by-law.
Attendees were encouraged to pick up a comment sheet and leave it at or email it to the municipal office before October 27 so that their comments can be included in the record.
Deputy Mayor Moher stressed that no decision would be made that evening.
CAO Dave Clifford gave a brief overview of the draft by-law and explained that Council had directed that the approved area under consideration be expanded.
Clifford noted that a lot of the by-law came directly out of the Highway Traffic Act. Clifford repeated what Moher said, in that staff and council were seeking comments, preferably in writing.
A number of residents were concerned about the roads that were and were not included in the area under consideration. CAO Clifford said that, after consulting with Public Works, the routes were chosen based on traffic volume.
Clifford also explained to the crowd that there is another step to this process but in order for the County to approve the ATV Club’s proposal, the municipality has to have a by-law in place.
Concerns over safety, noise and additional costs to taxpayers in the way of enforcement of the by-law and road maintenance and repair were also expressed.
Several residents asked if the comments and information from the evening’s meeting would be available to them. Deputy Mayor Moher said the comments would be posted on the municipality’s website within a few days.
Map of proposed area where off-road vehicles will be permitted in Douro-Dummer.