Reno City Council Considers Crackdown On Off-Road Vehicles

In response to complaints from residents, the Reno City Council is pursuing a crackdown on off-road vehicles.

Council members have directed staff to draft a new ordinance banning all private motorized vehicles on city land, including open space. Under the proposal, offenders would be subject to a misdemeanor, which could carry up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Wednesday's action comes after some River Park residents complained about off-road vehicles that travel through their subdivision and nearby city land to reach U.S. Forest Service land in the Carson Range.

Resident Robert Phillips said he's upset with the noise and destruction.

"We don't need ATVs back there," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It's just a small area, and it's being torn apart. The noise is unbelievable."

Councilman Dan Gustin said the ordinance is needed to help control the problem.

"Police go out there, and they don't have anything to hang their hat on," he said.

Stephanie Nethers and Leah Bradle of the Nevada Power Sports
Dealers Association urged the council to consider banning off-road
vehicles on open space on a case-by-case basis.

"It's a disservice to us who are responsible users," Nethers said.

Roger Liles, president of the Reno Dust Devils, said the city should strive to keep public access points open elsewhere.

Council members directed staff to find a spot far from homes that would be suitable for an off-road riding park.

Police Chief Michael Poehlman said his department would conduct a survey in the River Park area to prepare a community plan.

"We need a law. We need something we can work with," he said.

Councilman Dave Aiazzi said the loophole wasn't discovered until a deputy city attorney who lives in River Park got involved.
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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-02-01-08 1501EST


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