Back to the Bad Old Days – Supervisors Eliminate Permit Requirement from Ordinance

On March 23, 2010, in a vote of 3-1, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, voted to eliminate the Staging Permit requirement from the County ORV Ordinance, in an action that threatens to make County residents more vulnerable to increased noise, dust, harassment and trespassing from abusive ORV riders. This unfortunate action removes an important protection from the Ordinance, one that has definitely improved the quality of life of County residents.

A large number of residents made public statements in support of preserving the Ordinance as is. These statements were passionate, informed and spoke directly to the issue of the negative consequences of changing the Ordinance. These statements also spoke to the fact that the process undertaken to gut the Ordinance by Supervisor Mitzelfelt was deeply flawed, as he only listened to the pro-access special interests, ignoring other views.

Supervisors Mitzelfelt, Derry and Ovitt voted to remove this protection from the Ordinance. Supervisor Gonzales expressed reservations that residents adversely affected by ORV abuse were not being heard, and voted not to change the Ordinance. Supervisor Biane was not present.

Supervisor Mitzelfelt had cut this deal with pro-access advocates, inappropriately negotiating this change with them last year. Supervisors Mitzelfelt and Derry came into this hearing with the issue already decided in their minds and nothing said was going to sway their vote. We thank Supervisor Gonzales for listening with an open mind and expressing well considered reservations on the negative effect that this action will cause.

We thank everyone who has been supportive of the efforts to protect the quality of life of residents affected by ORV abuse and protecting our beautiful desert.


Read the LA Times Report.

ACTION ALERT! Attend the SB County Board of Supervisors – Tuesday, March 23rd at 2:30 PM

(If you need transportation assistance to attend the hearing on Tuesday, please go to the end of this message for information.)

On Tuesday, March 23rd at 2:30pm at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors hearing room, proposed changes to weaken the county ORV ordinance by eliminating controls on large stagings will be discussed and perhaps voted on.

(Note: Our recent ads in the HiDesert Star and Desert Trail stated that the meeting time would be at 10 AM. That is the usual time that Supervisors meeting begin. After the deadline to submit our ads, the BOS issued a statement saying that public comment on the ORV Ordinance would start at 2:30 PM. We suggest that you arrive at the Government Center no later than 2 PM.)

If the off-roaders get their way, as many as 199 riders will be able to gather on 2.5 acres of land in a neighborhood near you to ride for 6 days out of every 30 days without permits or oversight.

The off-roaders will be there in force and if you want to defend our communities from large stagings of ORVs Morongo Basin residents must be present to protest the decision by Supervisors Mitzelfelt and Derry to weaken the ordinance.

They need to hear loud and clear:

* DO NOT remove the staging portion of the ordinance.

* RE-CONVENE the stakeholder’s process to address any proposed changes to the ordinance.

* DO NOT allow special interests to dictate public policy.

* PROTECT our private and public lands from ORV abuse.

Attend this meeting has sign-up to speak your mind to the Supervisors.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED — defend our desert communities from ORV abuse.

Update: Transportation Assistance:

If you need assistance getting to the SB Government Center for this hearing there are a few people who can provide a ride. If you need a ride contact us at NO LATER THAN MONDAY, 3/22 AT 8 PM and we will try to make arrangements to get you there. We will have two pick up points:

Twentynine Palms Pick up location
Bucklin Park
Located at Desert Queen and 29 Palms Hwy
Map Link

Yucca Valley Pick up location
Yucca Valley Park-n-Ride, located near the west end of Yucca Valley, on the northeast corner of State Route 62 and Kickapoo Trail. You can safely leave cars in one of the 137 lighted parking spaces.
Map Link