CITY OF OURAY: What Ouray can learn about OHV regulations from neighboring communities

By Sheridan Block

Off-highway vehicle regulations have been an ongoing battle for the city of Ouray. Council has gone back and forth on the issue, debating whether or not OHVs should be allowed to operate on city streets.

During Monday's meeting, city council decided to reconsider its stance on OHVs after resident and OHV proponent Kendra Manley presented council with a petition of more than 140 signatures from residents, business owners, police officers and tourists in support of allowing the vehicles on city streets.
OHV users were confused and upset when council struck down a possible ordinance that would have allowed for a trial period of OHV use in a three to two vote during its May 19 meeting. The ordinance set an operator age limit of 16 years old with a valid state license and included a sunset provision of six months from the effective date, giving council an opportunity to review the effects of OHVs within the city.
People who signed the petition were excited about the prospect of a trial period and agreed that if OHV use provided more problems than benefits then it should not be continued, Manley said.
Some council members expressed desire or at least an interest in opening the issue for discussion again, others stood firmly opposed.
To help decide the best way to approach the issue, the city could take notes from its neighbors along the Alpine Loop. Nearby communities Silverton and Lake City have also struggled with OHV regulations and their recent actions on the issue could be a valuable learning tool for the city.
Just south of Ouray, Silverton has taken the position of...

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