Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice announced Wednesday he’s dropping a proposal to allow ATV drivers to ride their vehicles on county roads in downtown Winchester Bay.

His decision followed stiff opposition from community members this week to the proposal. A standing-room-only crowd turned out to a meeting about the proposal in Winchester Bay on Monday, with the majority opposing the plan.

Some of the opposition came from residents and fire officials concerned about noise and public safety. But some local business owners, who Boice had said would benefit from extra tourism dollars being spent in town, also opposed the plan.

Boice told The News-Review on Wednesday that the people who would benefit most from the plan were the least interested in supporting the concept.

“If the people who we’re trying to help are opposed to the plan, and aren’t really interested in us driving the ATV traffic into their businesses, then what are we doing it for?” Boice said. “We’ve got other things we can do over there that’ll be more productive.”

Eric Boe, a member of the Winchester Bay Rural Fire District board who spoke in opposition to the plan Monday, said Wednesday he was glad to hear ATVs won’t be allowed on the roads.

“I’m very happy about that. I’m a taxpayer in this community and I don’t think the addition of ATVs on the roadways in the community will enhance my property values,” he said.

He also said he had been concerned because none of the manufacturers he’s aware of endorse having ATVs on paved roads, and he agreed with Winchester Bay Fire Chief Scott Anderson who raised safety concerns about the plan Monday.

“If the chief’s worried about it, I’m worried about it,” he said.

DuneFest Coordinator Jody Morrow, who originally proposed the idea, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(4) comments

AshleyHicks

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make ‘em drink” Who cares that those visiting and spending money over there want to spend more. The private property owners “think” their property will decrease. On what basis? What happened to try it and see if you like it. Just another stick thrown in the spokes of prosperity and success :/ what a pity

Roseburg Reader

What happens to try and see if I like it? I am a property owner in Winchester Bay and part of that is the peace and tranquility of my home there. I am located right on the main road, Beach Blvd, and do not need ATVs, UTVs or OHVs going up and down the road at a loud noise level. Beach Blvd has a posted 20 mph speed limit for cars, yet on holiday weekends, I see cars going up and down the road going well over 30 and sometimes 40. These are people who DO NOT live there! Since Sheriff's Office patrol is limited, I rarely see anyone get a speeding ticket for not obeying the speed limit. How would you propose that patrol gets done on ATVs in addition to cars? How do you propose that would happen after the posted hours? There are many people who walk up and down that road, including children. Since there is a park on that road, there are also lots of children on bikes, as well as foot heading to and from the park. Add ATV traffic to that and it's a disaster waiting to happen. Beach Blvd has a HUGE parking area all up and down the road. Since I have a bird's eye view, I see all kinds of large vehicles pulling toy haulers, motors homes and lots of oversize vehicles. They visit the restaurants and businesses there and they like that they can park without hindrance. If there is already a way for them to park there, there is no need for them to have to take them off their toy haulers to drive through town. Do not put ALL private property owners into the category of thinking their property values will decrease. That was only said by one person. My main objection is the increased traffic, the increased noise and the increased potential for injury to a child and all the others who walk in the area. There is a reason that there is a line of demarcation between those who ride the dunes and those who live near them. We pay a lot of taxes for visitors who use the dunes and come to the area. I see them visit the restaurants and businesses. If you've ever been to Dune Fest, you know the insanity that is out there. The noise is deafening, the people are packed in there and law enforcement comes in from everywhere to try to keep it all under control. You go into Winchester Bay proper and all is quiet and serene. Don't ask me to try and see if I like it. I already like it the way it is.

AshleyHicks

Take old Lindyland and build a off-road park there please! Then adopt this policy with Roseburg and lets’ bring in that revenue to Southeast Roseburg. :) I’m positive Southgate Market and old Chuck’s Texaco would appreciate the business

smedleyb

Good!

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