Language for referendum on recreational vehicles explored

By Dave Fidlin


While no official action was taken, the Union Grove Village Board at its most recent meeting reviewed potential language for a pair of possible referendum questions that could help pave the way for the use of ATVs, UTVs and golf carts on village streets.

Last month, the board announced plans of placing a series of advisory, or non-binding, referendum questions on next spring’s ballots. The consensus was reached after a wide-ranging public hearing was held on the pros and cons of allowing the recreational vehicles on village roadways.

At the board’s Oct. 11 meeting, Village Administrator Mike Hawes presented the board with draft wording on the pair of proposed questions.

The board, however, delayed action in favor of clarifying some of the language on the issue at hand — most notably, delineating what does and does not constitute a golf cart.

According to the proposal, the village plans to ask residents to weigh in by way of two separate referendum questions, one for ATVs and UTVs and the other specifically for golf carts.

In the draft documents, ATVs are defined as “three- and four-wheel all-terrain vehicles,” while UTVs are referred to as “four-wheel utility-terrain vehicles.” The question asks if voters would support both vehicles operating at a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, including Highways 11 and 45 (if approved by the state).

The separate golf cart question asks voters if they approved their operation on municipal roadways with speeds limits of 25 miles per hour or less. The question also asks respondents if they back a plan to have golf carts cross Highways 11 and 45.

This summer, Village President Steve Wicklund first discussed the prospect of allowing recreational vehicles after fielding comments from residents.

At the hearing, which occurred Sept. 27, Wicklund said, “This may not even happen. We’re listening, and we want to hear what you guys have to say.”

Since the referendum question is non-binding, it would merely serve as the backdrop of any future decisions. The board itself would have to adopt ordinances permitting any of the recreational vehicles in the future.