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OHV ordinance remains intact

Despite opposition, board votes unanimously

SAN BERNARDINO — In a unanimous vote by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, it decided to keep an off-road ordinance in place despite more than 100 people in opposition.

The ordinance went in to affect on July 1, 2006, and strengthened regulations against off-roaders.

Sgt. Doug Hubbard of the Barstow station said deputies use the regulation to crack down on illegal riders.

“Our OHV guys use it as a tool when they come into contact with those folks,” he said. “It is a very useful tool.”

More than 200 people made the trip to San Bernardino for the meeting.

Community ORV watch, an off-roader watchdog group with members from all over the county, held a press conference before the meeting, with many of them holding signs reading; “Excuse me, my land.”

“Frankly I’d like to see it stronger,” said Philip Klasky, one of the leader of the group.

“But we’re willing for it to stay the way it is.”

The recommendation to the Board of Supervisors from code enforcement was that the ordinance was working as it was intended and that there should be no changes.

However, a few hundred off-roaders showed up to tell them otherwise.

“I have all the respect in the world for the people that live out there,” said Noel Garvin, who rides off-road vehicles in Johnson Valley. “We don’t ride across their property.”

The biggest issue among the off-roaders was the staging clause in the ordinance, which requires off-roaders gathered in groups of 10 or more to apply for a special $155 permit, which can take four to six weeks to obtain.

Dave Molinari said his family owns five acres in Johnson Valley and that last year was the first year he didn’t have Easter there because of having to obtain a permit.

Hubbard said a majority of Barstow’s off-roading problems stem from people riding illegally on the roadways. He said deputies enforce the vehicle code in those situations and work with code enforcement to enforce other regulations.

Randy Rogers, Chief of Code Enforcement, told the board that the program was a success and that since the ordinance had been implemented they have handed out more than 200 warning citations and 98 court citations and made 7,890 educational contacts, where they try to educate riders on the ordinance.

After four hours of public comment from both sides of the issue, the board voted 3-0 to keep the ordinance in place without any changes.

Chairman Paul Biane was on vacation, and 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt left just minutes before the vote to get to an event in Adelanto.

Staff writer Aaron Aupperlee contributed to this report.

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