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Landis OKs restrictions on dirt bikes, ATVs

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an all-terrain vehicle and dirt-bike ordinance Monday that will restrict when and where people can ride.
A few people spoke during the public hearing, two in opposition and one in favor.
Mike Leonard, of Landis, said his property is situated near the Garden Street area that has been the subject of complaints, and he did not see why the town wanted to stop the children from riding there.
“They’re my children and they’re in my yard,” Leonard said.
He said no one has ever complained directly to him.
Alderman James Furr, who proposed the ordinance in June, said Leonard was not the only one whom neighbors had issues with.
Mayor Dennis Brown said the reason for the ordinance was because of several complaints about the noise and the dirt the ATVs produce.
Landis resident Chris Engles said his son also rode in the Garden Street area before he moved but noted the ATVs were kid-sized.
“They make as much noise as a lawnmower,” he said.
Engles admitted the dust was a problem and the area where they were riding was quite dry, but the parents tried to remedy the problem by watering the area.
“We were trying to contain the problem the best we could,” he said.
He added there is a privacy fence and trees in that area. The board specified that a fence be built or tall trees be planted to buffer some of the noise.
Engles asked the board to reconsider the ride times they’d previously stipulated, which were 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through the week and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. The ordinance also bans motorized dirt bikes and ATVs from lots of less than two acres.
Engles said children are in school for much of that time and once they get home, have dinner and do homework, there was no ride time.
Tony Phillips said there are some privileges you lose by living in the city, and one of those was being able to ride on spacious land any time you wanted as you could if you lived in the country.
“I’ve come to expect some peace and quiet. It is a nuisance,” he said.
Phillips said he did not live in the area of Garden Street but wanted to share his opinion.
The board made no changes to the ordinance and all aldermen agreed to pass it as is.
In other business, the board:
– Approved paying for Neighborhood Community Watch signs. Resident Nadine Cherry, who is a liaison to the West Landis Community Watch, requested the board’s help.
The signs are $24, and Town Administrator Reed Linn suggested also buying cheaper temporary signs that could be moved and placed in yards.
Linn also recommended placing a small number of signs at different corners of town where welcome signs are already located.
– Approved a public hearing Aug. 3 to hear from residents about property owners Darren Groppi and Scott Mullins who want to rezone 500 North Chapel St. with the intent to build duplexes on a possible back lot.
The two want to development the lot in the future. Currently, the property is zoned single-family residential and Groppi and Mullins are asking for general residential.
Resident Rick Register has already established duplexes in that area.
– Declined to participate in a police department calendar fund. Police Chief Brian McCoy said he was approached by a local business owner to have the fundraiser again.
Alderman Tony Hilton said the program amounted to intimidation where the police department asked the community to help buy things. The board also briefly discussed issues with this fundraiser in the past, when there was a question as to where the money was appropriated and how much went to the department. The board agreed to not participate.
– Approved organization of a town event for National Night Out on Aug. 4. During the Night Out events, residents and emergency responders gather to show their solidarity against crime. The event will be from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and will be in the heart of the downtown area. Central and Ryder avenues and Garden Street will be closed during the event.
– Approved participation in the Salisbury-Rowan Reading program where mayors, council members and other staff will read to children at the county libraries. The program is July 15-Aug. 12 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

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