How the SB County Ordinance Process Works and How You Can Stay Informed

San Bernardino County is ruled by law. The law is codified in County code. Motorcycle and off-road vehicle law is contained in TITLE 4 DIVISION 8 CHAPTER 4. In 1970 the board of supervisors adopted the first ordinance [1590] to regulate motorcycles and off-road vehicles, the code was amended again by ordinance 3096 in 1986 and again in 2006 by ordinance 3973. County code in this case was changed three times by three different ordinances. None of the prior ordinances were ever altered, new ones were introduced that superseded the old ordinance. No changes can or will be made to 3973, but a new ordinance designed to supersede 3973 could be introduced.

No changes can be made to county code without an ordinace being adopted. Once an ordinance is adopted the first, second, and fourth sections are stripped away and section three is inserted into County code. If you look at ordinance 3973 the first section gives the reasons the supervisors thought it was necessary, the second section tells which portion of county code it will be replacing, the third section gives the code, and the fourth section is the signature and enacting data [dates, people, place].

No ordinance can be adopted without going through a minimum amount of administrative process and some of that process is governed by law. Any supervisor[s] can introduce an ordinance on any topic at any time. But there are some things they have to do. The first is that the ordinance has to be drafted by County Counsel. After it is drafted it is put on the agenda for initial discussion and sometimes for immediate action.

The Brown Act requires the supervisors to announce through their agendas that a new ordinance will be introduced and these ordinance items tail the agenda. Ordinance 3973 was something like number 72 on the May 2, 2006 agenda.

You can stay informed on the Board of Supervisors agenda and any actions that have been taken by visiting the San Bernardino County Clerk of the Board site, clicking on "Meeting Agendas" and then subscribing to updates via the e-mail notification link.