Port may join ranks of towns that permit ATVs on roads

Board to hold hearing on ordinance similar to ones approved by neighbors

A proposed ordinance that would allow all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles to be operated on Town of Port Washington roads will be the subject of a public hearing next months.
Ozaukee Press staff

Town of Port Washington residents may be able to use their all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles on some roads soon.

The Town Board on Monday agreed to take up an ordinance permitting ATVs and UTVs to be driven on town roads and county highways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held during the board’s 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2 meeting. The board is expected to act on the ordinance that night.

The proposed ordinance has been discussed by the board since last summer, when the Lakeshore ATV/UTV Club approached officials seeking permission to ride these recreational vehicles on town roads.

The Town Board has been amenable to the request, but in October said it would hold off on taking action until the Town of Saukville considered a similar ordinance.

At issue is Northwoods Road. The Town of Port has jurisdiction over one side of the road and the Town of Saukville has control of the other.

On roads with shared jurisdiction, the more restrictive law takes precedence, which means these recreational vehicles cannot operate on Northwoods unless both towns agree to allow it.

But the Town of Saukville hasn’t taken up the issue of ATVs and UTVs.

“It does not appear they will be anytime soon,” Port Town Chairman Mike Didier said Monday.

But the town is taking up the issue now, he said, because people are asking officials to consider the matter.

“I can’t go to a restaurant without someone asking me about it,” Didier said. “People seem to want us to take it up.” But without agreement on Northwoods Road, which is a major connecting link, he said, people will be limited in where they can travel in the township on ATVs and UTVs.

The town’s proposed ordinance is based on similar measures approved by the towns of Belgium and Fredonia. 

It allows the use of these recreational vehicles between the 5 a.m. and 11 p.m., and groups would be required to ride in single file.

Town officials said that there is an advantage to waiting this long to take up the matter.

“I haven’t heard of any problems in the other townships,” Didier said.

“I haven’t seen a lot of traffic,” Supr. Greg Welton noted, to which Supr. Gary Schlenvogt replied, “Once the weather gets nice, you’ll probably see more.”

The Lakeshore ATV/UTV Club was started in the Town of Belgium two years ago and has about 100 members from throughout the northern end of the county.

Bob Hubing, a member of the club’s road route committee, told the Port Town Board last year that the organization considers riding the recreational vehicles to be a family activity, adding it’s popular among older residents as well as younger people.

Even if the ordinance is approved in May, riders won’t be able to drive on town roads immediately.

They would only be allowed on the roads after signs have been posted, Didier said, and last year Hubing said the club would pick up the estimated $2,400 cost since it is asking for the routes.

Although the proposed ordinance would allow the recreational use of ATVs and UTVs on town roads, these vehicles are currently allowed on town roads if they are licensed as farm vehicles, officials have said.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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