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District of Sparwood to vote on motorized vehicle restrictions

District of Sparwood Council has now had the first three readings of Bylaw 1182

District of Sparwood Council has now had the first three readings of Bylaw 1182.

This will replace the existing ATV and Motorcycle Bylaw 832 that was created in 2000, with the Off-Road Vehicle Bylaw 1182 for 2016. This bylaw will extend the areas that prohibit off-road motorized vehicle users so there will be less potential for conflict between trail user groups. It will now go to a future Council meeting for consideration for adoption. The bylaw would come into effect the day it was adopted.

On Oct. 19, 2015, the District of Sparwood Council expanded the lease area for Sunset Ridge Ski Societies cross-country ski trails. When the request was considered, it was noted that there were areas where motorized use was not prohibited. From there the motivation to update the bylaw was to address the concern of possible conflict between motorized and non-motorized trail users.

The present bylaw, number 832, was re-written in 2000 and had the motorized restriction in its smallest area since 1976 when there was a district wide ban. Since the re-write there has been restrictions re-added as important assets were identified and developments expanded, like the Whiskey Jack and Ski Hill and with areas of development along the Elk River.

According to the District of Sparwood an “off-road vehicle" means a vehicle that - is designed to be self-propelled, and is in a prescribed class of vehicles, but does not include a vehicle in a class of vehicles excluded by regulation.” Examples of these would be off-road side-by-side vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles.

The recommendation is to increase the restricted area to include the golf and campground area, Middletown development, Sparwood Drive and to protect the new trails put in along the East bank of the Elk River. It is also recommended to re-establish the restriction along Matevic Road up to the district road right-of-way. To help prevent easy access into restricted areas, it was also suggested that the Disc Gold course and the BC Hydro right-of-way also be included.