Although ATVs like this are most associated with off-road use, a growing number of communities – including Union Grove – are looking into the possibility of allowing ATVs and other similar vehicles to use village streets.

Union Grove to hold referendum on recreational vehicles using local streets

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

After holding a wide-ranging discussion about the potential pros and cons of allowing ATVs, UTVs and golf carts certain village streets, Union Grove officials have opted to take the issue directly to the voters.

The Village Board on Sept. 27 opted to hold a non-binding referendum in the spring in the hopes of getting an accurate gauge of whether there is or is not support for an ordinance allowing recreational vehicles within Union Grove’s limits.

The board held a public hearing at the recent meeting, but Village President Steve Wicklund emphasized a decision of allowing one or more of the different recreational vehicles in the community is far from official.

“We’re not going to leave here tonight with ATVs and golf carts on the road,” Wicklund said. “This may not even happen. We’re listening, and we want to hear what you guys have to say.”

At the hearing, a representative with the village’s legal counsel office confirmed he consulted with state statute to get a handle on how the state’s law books address these types of vehicles in more populous areas.

“The board could choose to designate specific ATV and UTV routes on certain roadways,” said Christopher Geary of the law firm Pruitt, Ekes, Geary.

At the hearing, many of the speakers expressed skepticism — or outright opposition — to the allowance of one or more the recreational vehicles.

“I’m against the proposed ordinance, just from the standpoint of the noise,” resident Chris Gallagher said. “It only takes one two-cycle engine to really wreck the ambience in our neighborhood on a given night.”

Wicklund, who made the call to have a deep-dive discussion into the potential allowance of recreational vehicles, said he had no skin in the game.

“There’s been an interest, and I think it’s our responsibility to understand what the community’s wants and needs are,” Wicklund said. “I don’t really have an opinion on it. I don’t do it, but I know there is interest in it in the community.”