Riverside County Sued Over Recent Off-Higway Vehicle (OHV) And Noise Ordinances That Effectively Ban Recreational Riding On Private Property

BAKERSFIELD, CA (April 11,2006) ¿On April 10, 2006, EcoLogic Partners, Inc., the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), the San Diego Off-Road Coalition (SDORC), the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), the American Motorcyclists Association District 37 (AMA D37), and the American Sand Association (ASA) filed suit against the County of Riverside alleging that the County’s recently adopted Noise and OHV ordinances violate state law. EcoLogic, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), ORBA, The McGrath family and residents of Riverside County have worked for almost two years to help the county craft an ordinance fair to all parties involved. It is unfortunate the Supervisors in Riverside chose to ignore the rights of families in the county to ride OHV’s on their own property.

The lawsuit filed in Riverside County Superior court alleges the noise and OHV ordinances violate various state regulations on four separate issues. The noise ordinance is inconsistent with the County’s General Plan which is a violation of state planning and zoning laws. The section of the OHV ordinance that requires riders to carry written permission when on private property is in direct conflict with California State Penal Code §602.2. The OHV ordinance also fails to include a “grandfather” clause to protect the vested rights of landowners who have used OHV’s on their properties for many years. Finally, the county’s environmental review of the two ordinances were wholly inadequate as they have failed to account for the many impacts expected once OHV use on private land becomes subjected to the severe restrictions imposed by these ordinances.

EcoLogic Attorney David Hubbard stated “We tried to have the deficiencies in this ordinance corrected prior to its approval, the Supervisors chose to ignore our comments and this lawsuit is our only recourse.”  Meg Grossglass of ORBA commented “These ordinances violate state regulations and it is the intent of the OHV organizations involved to protect the rights of recreational riders in Riverside County which has traditionally been the home of many families that recreate together on their own property.”