PaOHV Alert-Hampton Township Hearing March 11
The Hampton Township (Allegheny County) Council is still threatening to severely restrict off-highway vehicle use on private property. Township Council President Victor Son contends that his ordinance will “be interesting and controversial and probably cutting edge in terms of setting the bar for establishing policy on ATVs throughout the North Hills.”
And that should worry you.
PaOHV, AMA, and other advocacy groups are deeply concerned that Mr. Son is correct and that the effects of this intrusive ordinance will spread across the region and state.
The new ordinance is the second generation of the proposal PaOHV opposed after its introduction late last year. This revised measure is no better than the first.
The main invasive provisions of the proposed ordinance include:
- Making OHV use on less than 3 acres of private property unlawful
- Restricting OHV operation to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week on parcels larger than 3 acres.
- Prohibiting OHV use within 250 feet of a residential structure on a property larger than 3 acres.
- Fining violators as much as $1,000 and imprisoning them for as long as 90 days if they don’t pay up.
Despite the 4-0 vote by the Hampton Township Planning Commission to reject the original ordinance, the Township Council has scheduled a hearing on the topic for 7:30 p.m. March 11 in the Hampton Community Center, 3101 McCully Road, Alison Park. The Council has final authority to approve the law.
Dean Hess, chairman of the Township Planning Commission stated that the original ordinance would eliminate riding all-terrain vehicles in Hampton and that the planning commission did not want to make responsible riding illegal.
PaOHV strongly encourages OHV enthusiasts to attend this meeting and make their views known. For those who cannot attend, letters should be directed to the Township Council at the above address.
Non-Hampton residents must submit a formal request to speak to Township Manager Chris Lochner. Call the township office at (412) 486-0400 and submit a prewritten letter voicing concerns against the ordinance.
This ordinance does not promote responsible riding. Rather, it would unfairly restrict all OHV activity.
The following significant problems live within the proposed ordinance:
- The existing township noise ordinance could address residents’ reasonable concerns by penalizing problem riders.
- The minimum lot size of 3 acres for OHV use would seriously threaten the activity in the township and detrimentally impact riding in the area.
- The ordinance makes landowners, not rogue riders, subject to penalties for noncompliance.
- The wording of the proposed ordinance leaves key points subjectively enforceable, altogether unenforceable or contradictory to Pennsylvania state law.
- The ordinance tramples core tenants of private property rights.
- The ordinance is discriminatory. It treats the behaviors of OHV riders as criminal while leaving other behaviors that produce the same conditions (i.e. dust, noise) untouched.
- The ordinance is unnecessary. A combination of enforcement of Chapter 77 of the Pennsylvania vehicle code and local nuisance ordinances already in effect provide the township with the tools needed to solve all problems presented by rogue behavior.
- The ordinance is duplicative, unenforceable, and must be defeated.
Please urge the Township Council to reject this unfair ordinance and preserve responsible OHV riding in Hampton Township and throughout Pennsylvania.
PaOHV Alert-the next General Membership conference call meeting will be held on March 5, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. Questions can be directed to Don McClure at