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.
WINCHESTER BAY — Residents of Winchester Bay voiced concerns Monday about noise, traffic saf…
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.