CALIFORNIA CITY – Comments by California City Chuck McGuire about the Off Highway Vehicle trails during the Aug. 13 City Council meeting are getting some blow-back from the OHV community on Facebook pages and elsewhere online.
Speaking about a consent agenda item to renew a resolution designating an off-road trail, McGuire said he didn’t believe the trail into the city from Borax Bill Park riding areas was benefiting the city. Following more positive comments from other council members, he did slightly walk back his statements a bit later in the meeting.
“I believe they’re not benefiting the city as a whole,” he said. “It has benefited a very small, selected group. People have stated that the businesses in town basically are flourishing because of these trails. However, there is no documentation to support that statement. What is there (in documentation), is sales tax reports. And these reports don’t support that statement, either.
“This city has grown and is started to move forward and my feeling is that OHV should be kept in the desert. If this is such a hot thing, why doesn’t the city of Los Angeles, city of San Francisco, San Bernardino or any other city do this, that’s in the state of California?”
Staff was requesting a new resolution to extend the trail for another five years, the current resolution expires on Aug. 31.
“You might see one or two businesses that might get a little bit of business, but overall, off-road vehicles seem to be getting a little out of control in this area,” said McGuire. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen on big weekends, where there’s been anywhere from six to a dozen OHV vehicles traveling down North Loop on the shoulder, going over to Fastrip.
“I can’t tell you how many OHV vehicles this week have been traveling up and down the street. And I know those are locals. But the problem is, it’s the violations of the municipal code dealing with riding within 660 feet of occupied dwellings.”
Mayor Pro Tem Eugene Stump said he wasn’t an off-road rider himself, but believed such a trail was needed.
“Being able to go and get gas or go and eat, all it does is a win-win for them,” said Stump. “And it’s a win-win for the city. We should make some ways where they can get into the city and frequent different businesses. I’ve been over at Best West and I’ve seen at one time there was something going on there and that whole parking lot out there was almost taken up with off road vehicles. They were frequenting Best West and buying food and giving the city a lot of revenue. So I don’t want to discourage them, I think there’s a way that we can make this a win-win for all of us.”
McGuire also said he would have liked the proposal to have included a map of the proposed trail route. He called for a motion to table the discussion until the next regular meeting. The motion was made by Councilmember Don Parris, with a second by Stump and was passed unanimously.
“With our press being here, I’d just like to make it clear, at least for me, that we welcome the OHV community,” said Councilmember Ron Smith. “I don’t want it to come across that we are anti-OHV.”
McGuire said he agreed with that statement.
“I just want to make sure it’s safe,” he said.