ATVs granted access to certain township roads

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It has taken more than a year, but ATVs have been given permission to use a limited number of roads in Clearview Township (shown in green).

Gerry LeMay, general manager of transportation and drainage, has been working with Central Ontario ATV Club director Soren Klemmensen to work out a compromise after council narrowly denied access to a majority of township roads last September.

The ATV club was looking to create a trail system that would connect communities while creating tourism opportunities in Clearview.

The route approved by council members June 5 creates an east-west corridor with access north to Wasaga Beach and south to Essa Township.

ATVs will not have access to Creemore or Stayner but will be able to get to New Lowell and Glen Huron.

Councillor Thom Paterson requested that permission be delayed by 30 days to allow enough time to properly inform the residents living on the affected roads.

“If we’re going to have ATVs, it seems like a good solution,” said Deputy Mayor Barry Burton who agreed with Paterson’s idea to communicate the plan to residents, but that idea was defeated.

“Holding back the bylaw is counterproductive,”a said Councillor Deborah Bronée. “It’s already watered down from what I’d like to see.”

She said the approved route will have virtually no economic impact on the township because ATV riders won’t be able to get to many amenities.

She said she would support the minimal route because it will allow ATVers to have a presence in the township so people can see that they are responsible drivers and they can start making inroads with landowners and start setting up trails on private property.

“It should be more open,” said Bronée.

“We are just creating a drive-through situation,” agreed Mayor Christopher Vanderkruys.

Councillor Shawn Davidson referred to the route as a baby step, saying some acceptance is required before there is an expansion.

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