Off Road Vehicle (ORV) riders will soon be able to use county roads in Douro-Dummer to connect trails from Havelock-Belmont-Bethuen to North Kawartha.
Weity Hamersma representing the Peterborough County Trails ATV Club appeared before the Committee of the Whole on February 14 to request that the Township of Douro-Dummer approve of the use of sections of County Road 6 and County Road 44 to allow riders to travel into the Township of North Kawartha from the County Forest and other nearby trails.
Councillor Vervoort tabled a motion stating that Deputy Mayor Nelson speak to the County of Peterborough in regards to the request from Weity Hamersma and bring a report back to Council for discussion. The motion was seconded by mayor Heather Watson.
Nelson returned to council on Tuesday evening after meeting with Bryan Weir, Sr. Director of Planning and Public Works for the County of Peterborough. Weir informed Nelson the county had passed a bylaw in 2022 and a portion of said bylaw reads as follows:
Permitted Roads - Permitted County roads that are designated for the use of Off-Road Vehicles are listed in Schedule “A” attached hereto and forming part of this by-law and are enforceable as such. Changes to the permitted County roads list listed in Schedule “A” may only be considered upon receipt of written concurrence of the lower tier municipality in which the County road to be added or deleted is located.
In order for the county to approve such a request there needs to be a letter submitted by the municipality showing support.
Councillor Tom Watt said it boggles his mind why the township has jurisdiction over county roads. He then asked if it would make sense for the township to give a blanket blessing for the county to approve any roads that they see fit.
Mayor Watson replied that the county council of the day passed the bylaw so that municipalities would not be forced to approve OVR use on roads they did not see fit.
Acting Clerk Martina Chait-Hartwig told council that the county bylaw is similar to that of Rogers cell phone towers. The federal government makes the decisions, however municipalities can comment. The municipality does not hold all the power, but they do have a seat at the table.
The motion passed unanimously.