March 31, 2023

County sets public hearing dates to remove its ATV/UTV ordinance

Legislature changes make county’s policy redundant, prompting removal

Brady Archibald, of Newton, steps out of his UTV. The city council will be reviewing the third reading of a proposed ordinance allowing limited use of properly equipped ATVs and UTVs on city streets at the Nov. 7 council meeting.

With the change in state law taking over ATV and UTV permits and allowing use on state roads, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors decided March 15 to remove its ATV/UTV ordinance ordinance from the books and set public hearing dates in order to fulfill that action.

The public hearings will be held 9:30 a.m. March 28, April 4 and April 11 in the board of supervisors chambers.

Jasper County passed its own ATV/UTV ordinance in 2019. Supervisor Brandon Talsma said it was created because there was no policy determining the rules and regulations, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources officers were writing citations in Jasper County for an ordinance that even no one was enforcing.

“With the state passing their’s now, there’s really no need for ours,” he said. “So I would like to do the same process we do to approve it to take it off the books.”

House File 2130 was signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in the 2022 legislative session making ATVs and UTVs legal to drive on state roads. It also allows for cities to regulate the operation of registered ATVs and UTVs and designate streets under the corporate limits jurisdiction of the city.

In November 2022, the Newton City Council upheld the Iowa law allowing for expanded use of ATVs and UTVs on roadways, but the city prohibited extended use of off-road vehicles on state highways like parts of Highway 14 and First Avenue/U.S. Route 6.

Additionally, councils throughout Jasper County have been addressing ATV and UTV use in their communities.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.