City staff will re-draft a proposed special vehicle ordinance before the Waconia City Council determines whether it will approve the provision.
That decision was made last Monday, Nov. 2, following a public hearing and further discussion on the matter. The council first started to tackle the issue in August in response to a request from a group of residents to clarify the city’s position on allowing use of utility and all-terrain vehicles (UTVs and ATVs) on city streets.
The city’s current ordinances do not address special vehicles, and Waconia, like many other surrounding communities, has been challenged with the growing number and use of specialty vehicles both on and off roads. Meanwhile, state statutes are not specific on guidelines around special vehicles, and area communities vary in their approach on the issue.
The city of Waconia invited the public to weigh in on a proposed special vehicle ordinance that would allow some vehicles on city streets and prohibit others. The ordinance as originally drafted would allow only UTVs and mini-trucks as special vehicles on city streets and would require a permit for use. ATVs and golf carts would not be allowed.
Only two residents spoke at last week’s hearing and a few other written comments were submitted about the proposed ordinance. However, the majority of council members indicated they weren’t ready to vote on the ordinance that evening and requested more clarity on the types of vehicles that would be allowed on city streets under the ordinance and the provisions for granting permits.
The move to table the matter passed on a 3-2 vote. Council members Marc Carrier and Peter Leo indicated they were ready to vote on the issue, and cited safety concerns and the complexities of permitting special vehicles as a reason not to allow them on city streets, while the majority agreed to continue to modify and deliberate the ordinance.
A revised ordinance is expected to be reviewed again in December.