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Front Page » December 25, 2007 » Local News » East Carbon's Planning, Zoning Board Examines ATV Ordinance
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East Carbon's Planning, Zoning Board Examines ATV Ordinance

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Sun Advocate community editor

East Carbon's planning and zoning personnel along with city police Sgt. Phillip Holt and 53V Motorcycle club reprsentative Marcus Palacios go over the city's newly proposed ATV ordinance. The city is looking to perform a major overhaul in '08.

Representatives from the 53V Motorcycle club and other members of the all-terrain riding community approached the East Carbon City Planning and Zoning board Thursday to help define the city's changing ATV ordinance.

The 53Vs, a newly formed local riding club, were represented by Marcus Palacios of East Carbon who recommended that the board adopt a city ordinance similar to the one used by Helper and Salina cities.

"The city of Helper has had success with their ordinance both from a law enforcement and rider perspective," said Palacios. "I would like our city to be rider friendly as well as safe and I think this type of ordinance would accomplish that."

Helper city has a detailed ordinance that allows local riders to operate their ATVs on any city street that is not posted as off limits. In Helper these streets include:

•Along or within the boundaries of U.S. Highway 6.

•Helper City Main Street between Birch Street and U.S. 6.

•Helper City Main Street between Uintah Street and U.S. 6.

•Poplar Street between U.S. 6 and Main Street

Helper further designates the following rules when riding upon city streets.

•Operation of off-highway vehicles on streets and roadways is authorized but only to enable access to the closest designated route.

•When crossing a street or highway riders should come to a complete stop and proceed only after yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic. Riders must also cross at right angles.

•For safety, any operator between 8 and 16 years of age must be in direct visual supervision of a adult who is at least 18 years of age while using a route designated for off-highway travel.

•The Helper ordinance also makes stipulations for equipment requirements, speed regulations, helmet requirements and private land issues.

A complete ordinance is available on the Helper city website at

East Carbon City councilmember Joyce Caviness sits on the planning and zoning board and cautioned the ATV community that passing an ordinance similar to Helper's could be difficult.

"Don't think that this type of ordinance is just going to fly right through the council," said Caviness. "We have councilmembers who don't want ATVs on the street period."

Although the proposed ordinance could face opposition within the council, a similar law structure has seen success in Salina as well.

"The ATVs are not as big of an issue right now," said East Carbon Police Sgt. Phillip Holt. "But when the summer comes, the streets are full of ATVs and it is difficult for law enforcement to enforce laws that are not clear. I don't think this ordinance would be a problem. It will be the same as it has always been. Some kids listen really well and some don't listen at all. But I think a clear law would help everybody."

The allotted speed and age limits for riders were a major topic of discussion.

"I think 20 miles per hours is a little too fast but also think that 10 mph is a little too slow," said Palacios. "I think 15 mph would allow the ATVs to stay out of the way of motorists while maintaining safety for the riders."

In addition to the riding track the 53Vs are requesting that the city donate a large portion of land behind the East Carbon Development Corporations landfill.

"I think the council would look at such a request if your club can demonstrate that the track will benefit a majority of the community in one way or another, because if kids will ride out there it will keep them from dusting out the highway which is a major nuisance for a lot of citizens in the community," said Caviness.

To bring some awareness to the community about their club the 53Vs conducted some caroling during the Christmas season along with a winter dance at the Sunnyside Union Hall.

"There is a large ATV riding community in Sunnyside and East Carbon," said Palacios. "And I think it will help the economy as well as the community if we can become as ATV friendly as possible."

The planning and zoning board is planning to take the recommendations under consideration and draft a formal ordinance to present to the city council just after the first of the year.

Following drafting by the planning and zoning board the city council will be required to ratify the new ordinance.

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