Printed letters, March 31, 2013
Recently, someone complained about walks being interrupted by “ATVs zooming down a trail.”
I always find it interesting that some people go out of their way to go to a motorized-use area and then complain about the motor noise or dust. Are they the same people who move near an airport and complain about airplane noise?
There are many thousands of acres in all directions of Grand Junction where motorized vehicles are not allowed. Perhaps if someone did not want to be bothered by motor noise, he or she should consider one of those places.
Then there are those who don’t hesitate to complain about ATVs creating new routes everywhere. To them I would say that Colorado Parks and Wildlife addressed alleged enforcement concerns the last two summers in partnership with the BLM and U.S. Forest Service. An off-highway-vehicle law enforcement pilot program was created to deal with “all the wrongdoers.” Of 160,000 registered OHV owners, 23,000 were contacted while recreating on public lands in “hot spots” around Colorado.
The study found that fewer than 5 percent of riders committed any violations. Of that number, the vast majority were for a lack of registration stickers. Only 1.8 percent of the contacts involved any activities in which the officer found it necessary to issue warnings or write citations.
Based on this information, why would anyone think there is a need for larger identification plates on ATVs?
One last note is the fact that local 4x4 clubs, motorcycle clubs and the ATV clubs provide thousands of volunteer hours annually to benefit all users of our local public lands.
I suspect if a 60 percent closure rate of local routes does come to be, then the volunteer hours will be reduced drastically and all users will suffer in the loss.
STEVE CHAPEL, President
Western Slope ATV Association
County column explained complicated road and trail law
Thank you to the Mesa County Board of Commissioners for the column regarding the BLM draft Travel Management Plan for the Grand Junction Field Office. This is the first piece of writing that adequately explains the R.S. 2477 fiasco.
We all should thank the county for working with the BLM to keep open those trails and roads that extend the county roads for specific purposes. Realize that the Travel Management Plan is an adjunct to the Resource Management Plan and therefore must consider all the resource values, not just the motorized community.
This plan generally moves us from open country to designated trails, and the alternatives derived from the earlier scoping process provide all users with a wide variety of trails furnishing different experiences.
The BLM welcomes public comment on the alternatives. Given the diversity of experiences that we value, its staff members will have their hands full sorting out all the comments and developing a final decision.
JAN P. POTTERVELD
Don’t punish HOA boards for management-firm issues
This is in response to the article published March 28 in The Daily Sentinel concerning a series of bills introduced in the Colorado Legislature addressing homeowners associations.
Management companies hired by HOAs and paid by the HOAs to oversee the operation of their communities should be held to a higher standard. House Bills 1277 and 1276, which were recently introduced, would harm more than help the HOAs that are forthright in collecting HOA fees.
HOA boards of directors are usually residents of the community they represent.
Boards are made up of professionals, knowledgeable of the covenants, who have the financial experience needed to govern their HOAs.
When the current board took over my HOA three years ago, our subdivision was on the brink of bankruptcy from homeowners not paying their fees.
HOA fees are required by the covenants, conditions and restrictions. Our CCRs require the HOA to provide irrigation service, landscaping, mowing common areas and residents’ lawns, upkeep of playground and picnic areas, liability insurance, utility fees and repairs. This cannot happen without collecting monthly association fees.
Many homeowners in our subdivision had become thousands of dollars in arrears on their fees. Letters requesting payment or suggesting payment plans did not work.
With a collection program in place and the hard work of our board, the board has for the first time in eight years brought our HOA from bankruptcy to being financially sound.
Homeowners given six months to begin paying past due fees, as HB1276 suggests, will rarely be successful. Not implementing a program for collecting HOA fees causes homeowners of HOAs to suffer the consequences.
Please write Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. David Balmer and ask them to be more precise as to whom the bills should affect, HOA managers, not HOA boards.