Twin Lakes exploring ATV/UTV use on village roads

Twin Lakes is starting the process of creating an ordinance to allow the use of ATVs/UTVs on village roads after discussing the issue at Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.

None of the board members or staff present voiced strong objections to the concept of ATV/UTV use on village streets, though some had ideas about possible restrictions.

“I think a lot of our community members want this,” said village President Howard Skinner.

The ATV Safety Institute says: “An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.”

A Utility Terrain Vehicle or UTV refers to a vehicle similar in size to an ATV but with the driver and passenger seated next to each other, says JD Power.

Police Chief Katie Hall suggested instituting the ordinance with a sunset provision that would allow the village in effect to have a trial period to assess any adverse effects or suggest changes to the law going forward.

“I don’t have any issues and I’m in favor of trying it out,” Hall said.

Hall suggested an ordiance restrict the time of day for ATV/UTV use, require liability insurance and be subject to a village permit, if allowed.

Village administration has gathered ordinances from surrounding municipalities that already allow ATVs/UTVs.

Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald said in his opinion those ordinances seem to be written with a more up north or out west outlook, where extensive trail systems in rural areas are available.

“It’s going to be different,” Fitzgerald said of what the village ends up with.

Four members of the public spoke at the meeting about the issue, all in favor of allowing ATV/UTV use.

Skinner suggested getting the sample ordinances to the village attorney, who can fashion something for consideration by the board.

“It’s super preliminary right now,” Skinner said.


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