All-terrain vehicle use future cloudy

Noise complaints prompt proposed regulations limiting use

by Bob Gaetjens | editor Published:

The future of all-terrain vehicle use in some areas of Streetsboro is in question.

For several months, city leaders have been grappling with complaints of noise, due to all-terrain vehicle use along Ferguson Road. The Planning & Zoning Commission, along with Planning Director John Cieszkowski, is trying to find a solution to the problem which will satisfy those bothered by the noise while still respecting the rights of property owners to do what they wish with their land.

Cieszkowski said during the commission's March 11 meeting rules concerning all-terrain vehicles are addressed in the current draft of an amendment to the zoning code for rural residential districts, which includes much of Streetsboro's wide open land, said Cieszkowski.

The amendment considers ATVs an "accessory uses," which means they are secondary or "accessory" to a principal use (residential, for example).

"Understanding that the use of recreational vehicles is reasonable in certain situations, we wanted to add some regulations," he said. "The intent behind those regulations is to limit any potential negative impact on adjacent property owners."

The commission discussed some of the proposed changes at its March 11 meeting and agreed to table the amendment until its 7 p.m. April 8 meeting at City Hall, 9184 at which point they hope residents on both sides of the issue will share their thoughts about it.

Commission Chair Tom Horsfall, who lives in one of the areas that would be affected, said more discussion is necessary.

"I think we need some more public input before we do this," he said told administration members. "I would like to have some other people give you some information on this."

Kennedy Road resident Karen Kline said the noise from all-terrain vehicles is bothersome.

"They're doing it from the time they get out of school until mom tells them to come in," she said. "Whether it's a racetrack or trail, it's the noise level. Most of the time, after the kids get to a certain age, it stops."

Cieszkowski said some use of all-terrain vehicles would not necessarily be considered an accessory use.

"If somebody owns a recreational vehicle and has a house on 30 acres or less in the RR district, I wouldn't consider their intermittent use to go from point A to point B … an accessory use."

He said residents cross a line in his mind when they use a "dedicated race track."

Some of the rules contemplated in the draft of the zoning code change include:

• Those engaging in an accessory use can only be the "owner or inhabitants" of the principal use (often a home in a rural residential district);

• No business "for-profit or otherwise" may be conducted as any kind of accessory use;

• Outdoor recreational activities involving a motorized vehicle must be approved by the Planning Commission;

• Only the family of a property owner or lessee can use recreational motorized vehicles;

• The minimum lot size is 30 acres for use of recreational motorized vehicles as an accessory use;

• Motorized vehicle use shall be set back 300 feet from property lines;

• The total percentage of the lot devoted to the use of a recreational motorized vehicle may not exceed 40 percent of the total lot size;

• Operation of motorized recreational vehicles must be between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.;

• Dust and odors may not affect adjacent properties; and

• The equivalent continuous noise level measured from any adjacent property may not exceed 65 decibels over a 30-minute period.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

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