Ordinance 07-03: Restriction of Off-Road Vehicles

Ordinance 07-03 An act to adopt an ordinance restricting the use of off-road vehicles within the town of Townsend

WHEREAS, the Town Council finds that activities associated with off-road vehicles constitute a more intrusive use of public property than do other recreational activities; and

WHEREAS, the Town Council finds that the operation of off-road vehicles upon the public highways within the Town of Townsend poses a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of this community.

WHEREAS, the Town Council finds that the use of off-road vehicles upon the public highways and public lands constitutes a nuisance, hazard and noise disturbance.


Section 1

Amend the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Townsend by adding thereto a new Ordinance to read as follows:

(a) Definitions.

All-terrain vehicles means an off-road vehicle which:
Operates or travels on three or more low pressure tires; and

Has a seat designated to be straddled by the operator of the vehicle; and

Has handlebars for steering the vehicle.

Off-road vehicles means any wheeled or tracked motorized vehicle designed or adapted for cross-country travel on land, water, ice, snow, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain and includes, but is not limited to,
A snowmobile,

An all-terrain vehicle,

A mini-bike, dirt-bike and trail-bike,

A miniature vehicle such as a dune or sport buggy,

An off-road maintenance machine,

An amphibious vehicle, and

A go-cart.

(b) No person shall operate an off-road vehicle upon a public street, highway, or any public property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking.

(c) No person shall operate an off-road vehicle upon any public property, such as town parklands or any property owned by the Appoquinimink School District.

(d) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply to the operation of off-road vehicles on private property or against persons engaged in the agricultural activities.

(e) Permissive Use.

The Town Clerk may grant permission on a limited basis to operate off-road vehicles upon public lands and streets by administrative action when such operation is deemed to be in the public interest and not to the detriment of public health, safety and welfare considerations.

In the event of State of Emergency as declared by the State of Delaware or Town Council, enforcement of the prohibitions contained herein shall be suspended so as to allow reasonable and necessary use of off-road vehicles in the interest of public health safety and welfare.

Enforcement of the prohibitions contained herein shall be suspended in instances where the use of an off-road vehicle is justified by emergency circumstances requiring efforts to save lives or to protect property or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster within the State of Delaware.

(f) Any person who violates any part of this Ordinance shall, for each such violation be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars, nor more than five hundred ($500.00) dollars.

Section 2

If any provision of this Act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this Act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall remain unaffected.

Section 3

This Act shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.

Adopted by Council of Town of Townsend on 11/7/07.


This Act prohibits the use of off-road vehicles on public lands and public streets within the Town of Townsend.



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