Neighbors Fighting Over ATV Ban

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/21 2014 06:08PM

Updated 07/21 2014 06:29PM

MILLHEIM, CENTRE COUNTY - Some local residents are upset after being told they can't ride ATV's inside borough lines.

At the beginning of this year, the Millheim Borough Council passed a new ordinance, banning ATV riding anywhere within the borough.

That also includes on personal property and some residents aren't happy about it.

Neighbors we spoke with own about 20 acres of property between them and they're wondering how an ordinance like this can be enforced on personal property.

"Why did it have to be taken away," rider Ethan Stroup said.

That's the question on a lot of people's minds in Millheim.

"We weren't destroying other people's properties," he said. "No one came to us and told us to stop. It all just happened out of the blue, kind of."

Stroup has been riding his ATV for five years and now, he and his friends are being told, no more.

"What else do we have to do? That's one of the biggest things we all did together as friends," Stroup said. "That's what made us friends, really. We all loved doing that, so now it's gone."

Borough President Alan Ilgen said the borough council enacted this rule back in January after receiving numerous complaints from some neighbors over noise, dust and safety concerns.

He said the ordinance is modeled after another municipality with the same problem.

"Our solicitor looked at that and the through was it was something to protect the people, their neighbors, where yes, they might be on their private property, but the dust and the noise are affecting the neighbors," he said.

"Nobody has ever said it's causing a problem," Snook said. "If anyone had, I would have put a stop to it. At least cut back on it."

Neighbors like Sauni Snook and Kim Hess disagree with the new rule. They've even started a petition to stop it.

So far, they have more than 100 signatures.

"I was heartbroken for the kids. They took away something that they love," Hess said. "My kids want to pursue a career in motocross and they can't even practice on their own property."

These neighbors said they're willing to compromise on the new rule, perhaps with hour restrictions, but they don't want the riding to be completely taken away.

They're planning to share their concerns and petition signatures with borough council at their August 12 meeting.

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