Quantcast
Jump to content

  • Join Today, It's Simple and FREE!

    As a member, you can post in our forums, upload your photos and videos, use and contribute to our downloads, create your own member page, add your ATV events, and even start your own ATV club to host your own club forum and gallery.  Registration is fast and you can even login with social network accounts to sync your profiles and content.

Recommended Posts

Morganton, NC - A crowd of about 200 people packed the Burke County Board of Commissioners' meeting room Tuesday for a long debate about the use of all-terrain vehicles and motocross bikes in the county.

The debate centered on a proposed zoning ordinance to define and regulate private tracks for ATV and motocross use. Nothing was resolved and the commissioners referred the ordinance back to the Planning Board. However, some people's passionate statements made it clear that the issue won't go away quietly.

"If you pass this ordinance," Dr. Mark McManus of 2577 Conley Road told the commissioners, "and Sheriff McDevitt comes out here, he'd better bring his ticket book. I'm not stopping."

According to Susan Berley, the county's planning director, the Code Enforcement Division in the past several months has dealt with a number of cases involving motocross tracks ("motocross" is motorcycle or ATV racing on off-road, closed-circuit tracks).

One complaint involves a track Jody Coffey built on his property at 5716 Mortimer Road in the Jonas Ridge area. Another involves Chris Miles' property at 4900 Mineral Springs Mountain Ave. near Valdese.

Coffey said he built his track for recreational use by his friends and family, including two young children. It's on two acres of his 10-acre property. He doesn't charge any money for its use, there's no formal competition and it's not used for training.

"It's pure, clean fun and excitement," he said.

However, he continued, if he has to have the property rezoned to comply with the proposed ordinance, his costs will begin with a $500 permit.

"I work for the county," said Coffey, a school resource officer employed by the Burke County Sheriff's Office. "I can't afford that."

Coffey said his track is approximately 300 yards from his neighbors, Susan and Norman Woodie of 3660 Jonas Ridge Road.

That's not far enough, said the Woodies, because the riders produce dust, fumes and, especially, noise that engulfs their property.

"How far away do you have to go for peace of mind?" Susan Woodie asked. She said, contrary to Coffey's description, the track attracts riders from a wide area and they race at all times of the day.

"It's not just a few kids," she said. "Ninety percent of the time it's adults."

Norman Woodie said he, personally, has no difficulty with kids riding a few motocross bikes for personal recreation.

"This is a track," he insisted.

And, he said, it's ruining property values. Norman estimates his property someday, when real-estate prices improve, could be worth a million dollars.

"With a racetrack beside it," he declared, "it's worth nothing — maybe $50,000."

And that sums up the essence of Tuesday's debate.

As Berley explained, the Planning Board is trying to find a definition of a private off-road track that falls somewhere along a continuum between a private land owner's recreational use of a few ATVs or motocross bikes and a commercial track such as Steel Creek's GNCC course.

Many of Tuesday's speakers felt the proposed ordinance cut too close to their own situations.

For example, the proposed ordinance limits the number of riders to no more than five at one time. Several people said they have more than that in their families, let alone their friends who also ride.

The ordinance also says a track must be on a property of no less than 10 acres. Several said they own smaller properties and have never had complaints from their neighbors.

Many insisted their sport is just a recreational hobby and shouldn't be regulated at all.

"This is about private property," said Miles. He said he moved to Burke County specifically because he wanted land on which he could build a track where his daughters, who are competitive racers, could practice.

Talking about the bikes' noise, Miles said, "Chain saws are louder. Are we going to regulate them as well. I don't think we need any more restrictions" on what people do on their private property.

Many agreed, applauding Miles and other speakers who pleaded for fewer government regulations.

But other property owners insisted they have rights, too.

Mike Puett of 9696 Highway 181 said he lives in the Jonas Ridge area because "you all know that's God's country." The noise and dust from race tracks will destroy the area's appeal and property values, he warned.

Fay McFetridge of 1184 Belvidere Lane, who lives about 1,100 feet from a track north of Morganton, said the dust and noise has diminished the value of life in their neighborhood.

"Why should anybody have to put up with it?" she asked. "Why give them legal permit to disturb the peace?"

The answer, according to several speakers, is that motocross rising is a recreational sport that a whole family, kids as well as adults, can enjoy. Several, including some professional riders based in Burke County, said they grew up racing and, as a result, never got into drugs or bad behavior. Others talked about the pleasure they get from being outdoors together.

One person who didn't sign up to speak, but who joined the discussion at the invitation of the commissioners' attorney, Redmond Dill, was Willie Bradshaw, owner of Fun Cycles in Valdese.

Bradshaw said he believes it's possible to reach compromises that respect both sides.

"For example, the noise can be controlled. In fact, it could be regulated under existing laws the state of North Carolina currently does not enforce.

Berley suggested, and the commissioners agreed, that the ordinance needs more work. After board secretary Doris Smith types up all of the comments and circulates copies to the Planning Board and the commissioners, the two groups will have a joint session at 8 a.m. Dec. 8 in the commissioners' meeting room where they will discuss how to proceed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Topics

    • By Quadtriumph
      Was looking for people to tell me some of the better trails around provo? Maybe meet up and ride. Thanks
    • By ATVNetwork
      The ATV Motocross National Championship (ATVMX) presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Championship, came to an end for the 2018 season this weekend, August 11-12, in Hurricane Mills Tennessee at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Only 10 points separated the top two riders in the AMA Pro ATV standings – Rockford Fosgate/Ti-Lube/Honda’s Joel Hetrick and Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis’ Chad Wienen – after their season-long battle came all the way down to the final moto of the year.
      View the full article
    • By ATVNetwork
      The ATV Motocross National Championship (ATVMX) presented by CST Tires, an AMA National Championship, came to an end for the 2018 season this weekend, August 11-12, in Hurricane Mills Tennessee at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Only 10 points separated the top two riders in the AMA Pro ATV standings – Rockford Fosgate/Ti-Lube/Honda’s Joel Hetrick and Wienen Motorsports/Yamaha/Maxxis’ Chad Wienen – after their season-long battle came all the way down to the final moto of the year.
      View the full article
    • By ATVNetwork
      products More great Christmas gift ideas
      Christmas gift guide for ATV and UTV enthusiasts. View the full article
    • Guest
      By Guest
      New Blooming Grove law would restrict usage of ATVs | recordonline.com
  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By hangingon
      Top trails in Alabama is on the way to a weekend get away so were going to go by it. The prairie is sick as of friday I think it's the thermostat it started getting hot the water is not flowing and the it full of anti & water.
    • By marioweldinginc
      Is there a specific section or thread where ohv riders can say that they want to meet up on a certain day or certain area? Im not talking about general discussion
      What I mean is someone posts that they are going to the trails of no return and other riders say ok we will join you sort of like rsvping to a party?
    • By utvboard
      October 1, 2009 Corvallis, OR –The Siuslaw National Forest is implementing a Forest Closure Order that went into affect August 18, prohibiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use from posted areas immediately adjacent to Beale, Snag and Horsfall lakes to protect plant, fish and wildlife habitat. “We have the responsibility to provide for multiple uses, such as clean water, forest resources and
      More...
    • By utvboard
      CYPRESS, Calif. – October 19, 2009 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., through its OHV Access Initiative, has provided more than $1 million in critical funding into OHV projects across the country. In less than two years, more than 100 Yamaha GRANTs (Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation’s Trails) have been given to local, state and national organizations that are leading efforts to
      More...
    • By utvboard
      $100,000 in GRANTs for Tread Lightly!, Blue Ribbon Coalition, Off-Road Business Association and NOHVCC Support National OHV Programs CYPRESS, Calif. – September 23, 2009 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., through its successful OHV Access Initiative, continues to support landmark programs directed by the country’s most prominent outdoor recreation organizations which are leading national efforts to
      More...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...