EAST PALESTINE Council mulls ordinance about off-road vehicles

Property owners are concerned about noise, safety and property damage.
EAST PALESTINE -- Riders of dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles may soon be required to carry written permission from landowners when riding in the city limits.
Complaints from north-side residents in May prompted council to consider such an ordinance. Council gave first reading of the ordinance Monday and will discuss the issue again at the July 9 meeting. It could approve the ordinance at the Aug. 13 meeting.
North-side residents, particularly in a wooded area in the Sugar Camp Drive and High Street areas, told council last month that off-road riders, both children and adults, were operating dirt bikes and four- and six-wheel all-terrain vehicles in a wooded area behind their homes mostly without permission.
They are concerned about noise and safety issues, liability and property damage.
Officials' comments: "A lot of that property belongs to the school district," said Councilwoman Margo Zuch, a High Street resident. "There may be some property owners who don't care if people ride there, but I'm not aware of any."
"I think something can be worked out," she said. "I think most of the kids are good kids, but once again, this is a problem of a few people causing trouble and making it difficult for everyone."
Police said enforcing trespassing laws is difficult when property lines are unclear, and they must depend on a rider's word in determining if they have permission to ride on the property.

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