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Perkasie Borough Council restricts use of ATVs


A new ordinance amendment restricts and defines the use, sets fines and restrictions of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other off-road vehicle uses in Perkasie.
At a regular business meeting Oct. 4, Perkasie Borough Council voted 7-0 to adopt an amendment to its “Peace and Good Order” ordinance to regulate the use of all terrain and off-road vehicles (ATVs) in the downtown.
Council member Matt Aigeldinger and borough council President Jim Ryder were absent from the meeting.
“The ordinance will help maintain peace in neighborhoods,” said Perkasie Borough Manager Andrea Coaxum.
The “Peace and Good Order” ordinance amendment allows for a $600 fine plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees to enforce it.
The new amended ordinance became effective Oct. 9, or five days after the Oct. 4 meeting vote.
The following list does not include all restrictions for off-road vehicle use outlined in the ordinance amendment.
Under the new ordinance amendment:
• Class 1 ATVs are defined as motorized off-road way vehicles, with three or more inflatable tires, a maximum width of 50 inches, and a maximum dry weight of 800 pounds or less.
• A Class 2 ATV is described as having the same features as a Class 1 vehicle, with a dry weight of more than 800 pounds.
• Motorized dirt bikes, also covered under the ordinance amendment, are defined as two-wheeled, and described as able to ride on natural terrain without road surfaces or trails.

• Snowmobiles also fall under the ordinance amendment, and are described as having runners or skies, in a “sled type” set up, with an endless tread or belt; or any combination of surface contact devices.
• Off-road vehicles are described as an umbrella term for individual vehicles like ATVs, dirt bikes and snow mobiles.
• The use of off-road vehicles is not permitted on lots in Perkasie of less than 2 acres.
• They may not be used within 100 feet of an adjacent property lot line.
• No more than two unrelated riders to the property owner’s household may operate on the property.
• Daily hours of operation are set, as are the number of hours allowed on any given day.
• Off-road vehicles may not be used on designed wetlands or in the floodplain.
Problems in the borough have included calls to the Perkasie Police Department, and mediation efforts by the chief or police, Coaxam said.
Government employees are exempt from the ordinance amendment when off-road vehicles are used during the course of conducting official borough business, like snow removal.
Off-road vehicles used for agricultural purposes are also exempt from the ordinance amendment.