Zoning board approves regs for ATV, UTV use

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Posted on Aug 26 2019

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Under the new regulations, ATVs will not be able to operate closer than 250 meters from residences and other sensitive areas such as schools, churches, passive parks, and golf courses. (IVA MAURIN)

The Zoning board approved during the Commonwealth Zoning board meeting last Friday the proposed regulations governing all ATV, UTV, and motorcycle businesses on Saipan and how these machines are to be used.

The regulations specify conditions to be imposed on all conditional use permits for all-terrain vehicles, utility vehicles, and motorcycle rental establishments to address community concerns, including noise, emissions, public safety, erosions, and other environmental concerns.

It also allows the Zoning administrator to take administrative action to abate nuisances caused by operators who fail to conform to the prescribed conditions.

Under the regulations, the operation of ATV, UTV, and motorcycles must be confined to rural areas, except north of Tanko, Rakka, and Chalan Matuis drives.

There should be no emission of noise in excess of 92 to 105 decibels. Operation of the vehicles are also limited to three hours after sunrise up to three hours before sunset, and only at improved trails approved by the Division of Coastal Resource Management.

The vehicles will also not be allowed to operate within 250 meters from restricted areas. These include areas of particular concern (as defined by the DCRM); village residential zoning district; village commercial zoning district; house, apartment, hotel, or bed and breakfast; church; schools; daycare or other childcare facility; libraries; golf course; passive park; beaches; or conservation areas, mitigation bank, culturally sensitive, or historically sensitive places.

In addition, the vehicles must be stored within the permitted establishment, and must be screened from public and street. The vehicles must also meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards with visible compliance stickers.

The regulations also maintain that all existing operators shall comply within 18 months.

In 2015, the Zoning board imposed a moratorium on applications for conditional use permits for ATV rental establishments.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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