Off Road Vehicle Task Force presents recommendations and announces second public meeting

Kawartha Lakes – At the May 4 Committee of the Whole meeting, the proposed recommendations from the Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Task Force were presented to Council. The purpose of the ORV Task Force is to provide advice on the use of off road vehicles on municipal roads and to identify safe ways to connect existing trail linkages across the municipality.

The presentation began with an overview from Bryan Robinson, Director of Public Works, who delivered a brief history of the existing By-law and the changes in legislation that came forward surrounding ORV use in January 2021. Robinson summarized the public input which ranged from over 2000 survey responses, 300 emails and comments from the March 19 public meeting. Following, Councillor Pat Dunn, Chair of the ORV Task Force, walked through the proposed recommendations, explaining the Task Force’s rationale behind each statement.

Council heard from members of the public who brought forward further correspondence, both for and against the Task Force’s work. Councillor Dunn summarized the comments coming forward, including concerns around the health and safety of all users on municipal roads as well as enforcement and environmental factors.

In his address to Council, Councillor Dunn noted “The Task Force is open to continuing to work with staff and Council to determine the best course of action for the entire community. We have done our due diligence to ensure that safety was always a priority in our discussions, but understand that there is still hesitation from some to move forward with the proposed routes.”

The following motions were proposed and carried:

  • Any pilot program that is initiated will have a two-year term with a review after one year
  • Any roads that will allow ORV use will only permit access between 7am and 9:30pm, from May 1 to November 30

In regard to the discussion around which roads and routes to proceed with, the following were carried:

  • Use of ORVs on rural roads be referred back to the Task Force for review in September with a report back to Council in Q4.
  • Road linkage between Bethany and the Ganaraska Forest be referred back to the Task Force for review, alongside staff, and brought back for discussion in September 2021
  • The proposed commercial route in Bobcaygeon be referred back to the Task Force for finalization and brought back for discussion at the June 1 Committee of the Whole meeting
  • The proposed route connecting the trail linkages through Lindsay be referred back to the Task Force for finalization and brought back for discussion at the June 1 Committee of the Whole meeting
  • Any additional proposed routes in Lindsay be referred back to the Task Force for review and brought back for discussion in September 2021

The Task Force will be hosting a second public meeting on May 20, 2021 at 10am. The meeting will be held virtually and will be livestreamed on the municipality’s YouTube channel. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed routes in Bobcaygeon and Lindsay. The Task Force is asking any residents who wish to bring forward recommendations for the routes to email orvtaskforce@kawarthalakes.ca before 12pm on May 14.

All past correspondence, including a summary of the public survey and past Task Force meetings are available for public access on the ORV Task Force’s Jump In project page.

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