Granby Board talks Off-Highway-Vehicles on town streets
May 6, 2016
The Granby Board debate over allowing off-highway-vehicles (OHVs) such as all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs) and other similar modes of transportation on town streets continued last week with a new full Board of Trustees and a more contentious debate.
Granby Town Manager Wally Baird started the discussion by explaining the proposed ordinance had been modified from previous iterations to expand the specific streets in Granby that could potentially allow OHV operation. Previous draft ordinances listed streets within Granby that OHVs would be allowed on while the most recent draft outlines only those streets on which OHVs would not be allowed.
Discussions during the meeting indicated the Town is considering restricting OHV use on 1st Street and 4th Street due to the steepness of the roads as well as portions of Diamond Avenue, from 1st Street to the East Grand Middle School. The Board is considering allowing exclusions for Diamond Avenue for specific hours of the day.
"We did some checking with communities that have ordinances that allow this," said Baird. "In cities that do allow them, with the exception of Lake City, they see relatively little use and most is similar to Janet's request, used for snow removal."
“We did some checking with communities that have ordinances that allow this. In cities that do allow them, with the exception of Lake City, they see relatively little use and most is similar to Janet’s request, used for snow removal.”Wally Baird Granby Town Manager
The request to pass an ordinance allowing OHVs on Granby's streets was brought before the Board by Janet LaBrake, wife of former Granby Trustee Charlie LaBrake who passed away at the beginning of this year. LaBrake explained her primary motivation for requesting the ordinance was to allow her to easily move about Granby on her ATV for her snow plowing operations. "This is something Charlie started," said Janet. "I am just trying to see it through."
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Particulars of the ordinance are still being ironed out by the Board and Town staff and no official decision has been made but last Tuesday one Board member expressed numerous questions about how the ordinance would be implemented and if the decision was in the public's best interest.
"If this is the will of this group where is the plan to pay for and properly post signage?" Asked recently elected Trustee Jane Harmon. Harmon also raised questions about stipulations on the maximum number of passengers allowed on OHVs in Town and possibly including requirements in the ordinance to adhere to manufacturer restrictions. "Caution and prohibited areas are what I am looking for in terms of signage," she added later.
Other talks by the Board focused on how any ordinance allowing OHVs on town roads would affect Granby's major subdivisions, Grand Elk and Granby Ranch. The roads in those subdivisions are technically town roads. However, because there are no town roads linking Granby to those two subdivisions Granby Ranch and Grand Elk can only be accessed from the main portion of Granby via US Highway 40. Town Manager Baird pointed out state law prohibits the use of OHVs on highways.
"If Town statutes allow them on all roads and Granby Ranch and Grand Elk prohibit them, how is that enforced?" Asked Trustee Greg Mordini. Baird informed Mordini it would be up to those subdivisions to enforce any subdivision specific restrictions. Mayor Paul Chavoustie pointed out such enforcement is usually done through fines or financial penalties levied by the subdivisions.
The Board also discussed age requirements the town might place on riders and helmet requirements. The Board sought advice from Granby Police Chief Bill Housley on how to properly enforce the ordinances and how fines would be applied to anyone not in compliance.
The Board took no official action on the OHV ordinance during the meeting. The issue is scheduled on the agenda for the Board's next regular meeting on Tuesday May 10.