Superior’s City Council could leave it to voters to decide if all city streets could be open to use by all-terrain and utility-task vehicles.
Councilor Craig Sutherland introduced a resolution that would place an advisory referendum on the April 7 ballot to gauge public sentiment for allowing ATV and UTVs to use any city street except those deemed exempt because of state and local laws or safety concerns.
It doesn’t make sense for just six people — a majority of the Council — to make this decision, Sutherland said.
“I don’t want to create animosity between councilors or anyone, or have it become another showdown on the Council floor,” Sutherland said. “If the voters decide they want it, let’s move forward.”
Establishing limited routes that allowed access to businesses in different areas of the city and provided access to trails has created dissension among councilors in the past. Councilors split 8-2 in favor of establishing year-round routes through the city in September 2018. And many residents who wanted their street excluded made their voices heard during the debate, resulting in a stretch of East Fifth Street being excluded.
“I don’t have a horse in the race,” Sutherland said. “I don’t own an ATV. I don’t own a side-by-side.”
However, he said he’s heard from many residents who can’t get to those limited routes from their home.
“People have been asking for it all over social media,” Sutherland said.
If approved by the Council, voters will be asked: “Barring certain exceptions determined necessary for safety and subject to applicable state and local laws, should the city allow the operation of ATV (all-terrain vehicles) and UTV (utility task vehicles) on its streets and alleys.” A "yes" vote would indicate support for the proposal and a no vote would indicate the measure is not supported.
“I think it’s the best route,” Sutherland said. “It’s just an advisory referendum.”
The Council wouldn’t be bound to act based on the outcome of the election, but Sutherland said if the measure is well-supported by the public, he would introduce an ordinance that would allow ATVs and UTVs to operate on most city streets and alleys.
“That’s why the resolution is there, to look at the numbers, so we have real numbers,” Sutherland said. “If its 50-50 or less … I wouldn’t even attempt it because clearly the numbers aren’t there to support it.”
The Council considers the resolution at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, in Room 201 of the Government Center.