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San Bernardino County Code Enforcement

Preliminary Application Comments


 Link to comments from W. Greenwalt - 4/6/09



 I am writing in full support of the grant application for funds to enforce much needed ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

Living in a desert community, it is imperative for our law enforcement to have vehicles that are readily available for use in ORV abuse. Patrol cars cannot properly pursue in soft sanded areas and often get stuck in the process, giving the pursuer the upper hand.

I live in Yucca Valley adjacent to an area favored highly by off roading. I personally make minimum one call per week to dispatch over their excessive speeding and destruction of private property. From an environmental view, I have witnessed the deterioration of the area in just a few months; joshua tree roots are slowly being exposed by the continual loops and local brush serves only as soft padding as they carelessly trample over them with ease. This is not made from tourists but locals who come out on a daily basis to take over this area that is also enjoyed by horse riders, joggers, and occasional photographers.

I cannot give enough gratitude for the hard work and time these men and women of law enforcement make and I no longer feel helpless living on my own land. This grant would give them more protection with proper vehicles and give us more relief.

I thank you for your time and giving me the opportunity to speak on such an important issue that effects my personal life and the safety of my community. [Lisa Valen - 4/6/09]


 The Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council wants to fully support the grant request of the SB County Code Enforcement Division. This agency has worked diligently over the past three years to bring order to an out of control situation of illegal and irresponsible ORV activities in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. They work closely with local property owners and representatives. Their focus on education about the county ordinance and the follow up enforcement has been effective. Population growth into the desert area has caused more pressure on private property owners trying to enjoy the desert's peace and quiet.

San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Division needs additional resources to continue an effective effort to protect private property owners from illegal and irresponsible ORV activities in the Wrightwood area. Enforcement motorcycles, ATV's and trailers are a critical part of future success of this agency. [Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council, Kim Floyd, Chair - 4/6/09]



 I understand that the San Bernardino County Code Enforcement agency has applied for funds to enable them to enforce Off Road Vehicle laws.

I support their application for funds. I live in a rural area of Joshua Tree and it is upsetting what ORV users do. They drive at high speeds, make great noise, raise dust, and have no consideration for the homeowners who live here. I live adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park and they sometimes even cut through the barbed wire fence and drive into the Park.  It is very upsetting what they do.

Please help us by supporting their application for this enforcement agency's application for funds. [Dave Theriault - 4/6/09]



 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

As weekenders in Wonder Valley for 50 years, we have seen increased Off Road Vehicle activity and damage to the desert as a result. The abusers eventually leave their own property (even if they are property owners), or they are not trying to stay on it or on the appropriate roads. Noise and dust! Not elements of a peaceful desert experience.

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. [Mike and Joanne Hill - 4/5/09]


 I have read the State Parks OHV grant application for the San Bernardino County Land Use Services Dept. Code Enforcement Division and would like to comment. San Bernardino County has a huge amount of land to cover and have vast areas and opportunities for OHV recreation. The ratio between what they ask for and match with is one of the most favorable in the grant applications. I recommend this grant be funded to the highest amount possible so that their work to promote responsible OHV recreation can continue. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 4/5/09]



 I appreciate the opportunity to comment and support the grant request #G08-03-37-L03 submitted by the SB county Land Use Services Code Enforcement Division.

My personal experience is that numerous people have moved to the Victor Valley Area under the assumption that it is “just desert out there” and that they can ride where they want. This has never been the law. Land is either private property or public land which comes with regulations and laws. Those laws and regulations have not been consistently enforced, creating a need for Victor Valley area residents to actually move in order to find the peace and quiet they deserve.  Some people have moved several times to get away from the dust, noise and damage from OHV use. Their private lands have become scarred and wildlife habitats destroyed by irresponsible and often arrogant OHV users. My own latest move was made with the threats of OHV trespass in mind and I hoped that being in a 55+ community next to a wildlife corridor might spare me the aggravation and health threats that OHV disturbance bring. I did not escape the effects of this life threatening nuisance. The OHV noise, dust and scars along the Mojave River are a third of a mile away and the trespass is increasing along that wildlife corridor. Last summer we were awakened almost every night for months at around 2-3 am from the sound of OHVs racing up and down the river bed.

In the Milpas Highlands Area where I had thought to buy, several residents use OHVs as a babysitter for their older children. They encourage riding on their own property and through other properties to access the BLM lands known as the Juniper Flats Area along Arrastre Canyon. On afternoons, holidays and weekends the peace in this residential area is punctuated by OHV trespass, noise and dust. Several OHV play areas with loops over the hills have developed in the past few years on private and public lands. On weekends the noise is almost constant.

In July 2006 the San Bernardino County OHV ordinance took effect and the much needed education began to spread throughout the Victor Valley community. Areas that were always closed remained closed, but folks still want to ride out of their garage and other closed areas (such as the Mojave River) are now being used illegally for OHV riding. Its seems that there is no end.

However, through the OHMVR grant process, the County code enforcement may apply for funds to help educate and cite errant riders. County Code Enforcement OHV officers are doing a great job and have a proven track record of being responsive to local residents.

If OHV recreation is to be sustainable, the riders must have legal places to ride, learn where those places are and make use of them. Riders must also learn to respect the rights of local residents and other people recreating in the area, as well as wildlife habitats. San Bernardino County has appropriately responded to the call for help to enforce county and state laws, and that call needs funding.

The Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division was set up to manage OHV activities. That responsibility includes education about and enforcing OHV laws and regulations as well as providing legal riding areas that have minimum impact on local residents. The County Code Enforcement Division is able to help with that responsibility in the local areas of San Bernardino County and I fully support their grant request. The 4 Code Enforcement Officers have done a tremendous job of trying to keep up with ever increasing demand on their time. They partner with businesses in the local areas to help spread the word. The area that they cover and the number of OHV users who seem intent on disrupting the peace and quiet of others and destroying habitat far outpace the hours that 4 officers can provide. More hours, increased partnering, more education of young people and more equipment to do the job are needed to cover the vast areas that are increasingly affected by illegal OHV activity.

I thank you for your attention to the concerns of local residents, and for putting together a sound plan to help deal with the growing problem of OHV disturbance. I fully support all aspects of your grant request and I expect that the OHMVR division and commissioners will also recognize your funding needs for your well thought out plans.

I have one request to make: Please work closely with the San Bernardino County Sheriff Office including the dispatchers, the City of Hesperia Code Enforcement, the Town of Apple Valley code enforcement. On several occasions I have called for assistance with errant riders in the river bed, but the dispatcher was not aware of the OHV task force and did not seem to understand that the river is not an OHV play area. Other rural areas of the county where there is no close “cross street” also create a difficult dialog with the dispatcher.

A couple of suggestions: Create a map on which all OHV related problems are recorded and make it public. Set up a central phone # and email address for OHV related issues for the Victor Valley Area. Please help provide at least 1 public meeting/workshop a year in the Victor Valley Area where OHV trespass issues may be discussed and some problem solving can take place. Make use of more partnerships to help distribute flyers and information.

Please keep me informed of progress of your grant request and of any way that I might be of assistance. Please also make available the information on how the awarded money is spent. I would appreciate a sample of all printed materials and any information that becomes available on the internet. Many thanks. [Jenny Wilder - 4/3/09]


 I would like to express my support for the grant funding application by the San Bernardino County Land Use Services/Code Enforcement dept. This agency has been doing an outstanding job educating OHV riders on where the legal OHV areas are while protecting private properties from unauthorized use. Their roving patrols have been held in various locations across the county and have proven successful in encouraging responsible OHV use with a combination of education and enforcement. Their funding is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment. [David Van Voorhis - 4/3/09]



 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. [Jeffrey Wells - 4/1/09]



 I am writing in opposition of grant money being used to fund San Bernardino County Land Use Services Dept. Code Enforcement Division. It is ironic that OHV fund money would be used against OHV riders. Please do not allow this to happen. [Rick Hull - 4/1/09]



 California is experiencing significant budget cuts and in my opinion this grant money to San Bernardino County Land Use Services Dept is not needed. I live in Wonder Valley and have friends in the basin and we all agree there have been too many complaints from a handful of activists called Community ORV Watch. There are no problems with OHV in our neighborhoods just a few activists that just moved in. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion. [L. Vargas - 4/1/09]


 Re: Support for San Bernardino County / 
   Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/
         Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area.  These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

Both local ORV and weekenders are pretty much brought under control with these grant funds. Ordinance # 3793 does indeed work and protect personal property, native plants and all the wildlife in the desert. I have personally seen wonders done in controling illegal OHV violaters. However, more must be done or the desert will be severely destroyed for future and present generations.

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. [Ben Holstrom - 3/31/09]



 It is imperative that OHV Enforcement be funded. I have moved TWICE to get away from their awful noise. It has only been in the last 6 months that our lands have been protected and peace has been restored. Please continue to fund code enforcement! [Kathleen Watterson - 3/31/09]



 Living in the unincorporated area of S.B. county, I have had SO MANY frustrations of ORV abuse on the easement leading to Yucca Mesa Avenue. Since this dirt road goes up a hill, I can not see if there is a parade of ORVs racing up on the other side below & have nearly been hit as we both come to meet at the top. Or if I were wanting to walk on this road, I might not be able to jump aside in time. These riders feel it is their right to use my easement for their own entertainment. I have NO POLICE willing to patrol this area since my requests have been consistently brushed aside.

Nevertheless, I mention here my support for the San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application. As long as there IS a budget for enforcement THERE IS HOPE for help with this issue... YES WE CAN!!!! [Olivia de Haulleville - 3/30/09]



 I do not want my tax money going to this. There is already adequate law enforcement in my area. I consider this an extreme over-reaction. The Marine base expansion is going to cause much more damage than a couple of scooters running around.

From my perspective I see street legal vehicles ie: jeeps and pick-up trucks as more of a problem than ORV's. [Rick Sayers - 3/30/09]



 RE: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

The Society for the Protection and Care of Wildlife (SPCW) supports the above two grants which if funded will allow the continuation of enforcement of ORV laws in much of the California Desert. Both of these agencies have excellent reputations and track records educating the public on responsible recreation and fair and efficient enforcement of the laws.

Due to significant budget cuts, ORV enforcement by these two departments in the County of San Bernardino will not happen. They are enitirely dependent on these grants to protect desert wildlife, private and public lands.

If you need clarification please do not hesitate to contact me. [H. Marie Brashear - 3/30/09]



 Please support the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department, and Yucca Valley grant application. California is experiencing many budget cuts and is dependent on these funds to protect private and publics lands from ORV abuse. [Nancy Leventhal - 3/30/09]



 I support the work of the San Bernadino law enforcement grants. They do superior work in the community. [Barbara Maron - 3/30/09]


 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law. I get about 8-10 ORV riders every weekend in my area stirring up dust and vandalizing vacant houses on my street in Flamingo Hts (police reports have been made).

After my neighbor Beth Osborn was taken to the hospital after falling, the only people in this area who could see the lights from the ambulance were the ORV riders on Tahoe St on the next block. Soon after she was gone began 3 burglaries upon her empty house began. Now the new owners of that house at 898 Delgada Ave have also been robbed and their windows broken in back. The police report was made a few months ago.

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. IF these code enforcers are not backed by this state, then it will result in people having to shoot the offenders, which I quite agree with. How else will they learn? [Ms BJ Renton - 3/29/09]



 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

I've attended several meetings, where I've found EDUCATION is the primary need, following up is a critical part, and ENFORCEMENT is a VERY necessary strategy in assuring our deserts are not destroyed, mutilated and eroded by off road vehicles. Enforcement has included the education of owners of over 80,000 vehicles, possibly a ratio a 3 to-one-owner, but still an overwhelming task to educate via mailing of 2,000 a week. Still hasn't allowed for the necessary spreading and educating of the thousands of people who don't LIVE here, but only VISIT. Their ignorance is overwhelming. I've also found it takes practically an army to educate and passing the word that we citizens don't appreciate their abuse of OUR space or the interference with our right to our own peace and freedoms!

There were several ORVs in my immediate area abusing the ordinances of time (normal business hours) hearing noises at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., living alone and knowing I must defend my rights or die trying isn't an option for me. Only seeing lights and hearing the vehicles thrashing through my night and disrupting my sleep and peace wasn't a confrontation (as others have had) I looked forward to having. When these neighbors were given EDUCATION and RESTRICTIONS, and confrontation from local authorities, these nighttime noises ceased for awhile.  I had to dial 911 to report them.

There is ONLY ONE enforcer in our area, including thousands of square miles and we much need MORE than just one. With the commercials in which the governor entices people to come to California and with HIS significant budget cuts, ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. The Mojave is a large place and it will take an army as we see it to be able to address these issues. PLEASE help us protect and preserve these rights and areas.

Thank you for your time. [Judy Van-Ruggles - 3/29/09]



 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law.

There are people that are this minute breaking the laws made to protect peace and polluting. My neighbor has made four or five new exits from their house that go over the line into private property. their incessant noise and clouds of dust plague the area and this is including other riders. We need this grant to protect dangered animals and our way of life that we hope to keep peaceful and healthy.

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. [Suzanne Ross - 3/30/09]



 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective application of the law. I live in a rural community Rim Rock near Pioneer town and I am over run with strangers thinking my land is an off road park. Any help regarding this would be helpful.

(Write about your own experiences with ORV abuse here)

California is experiencing significant budget cuts and ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. If I can make a contribution please tell me where. [Ron andd Cecilai House - 3/30/09]


 Re: Support for San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Grant Application and Support for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department/Yucca Valley Grant Application

I am writing to support the grant application for funds to enforce ORV laws in my area. These agencies have an excellent track record of educating the public on responsible recreation and the fair and effective Application of the law.

I've attended several meetings, where I've found EDUCATION is the primary need, following up is a critical part, and ENFORCEMENT is a VERY necessary strategy in assuring our deserts are not destroyed, mutilated and eroded by off road vehicles. Enforcement has included the education of owners of over 80,000 vehicles, possibly a ratio a 3 to-one-owner, but still an overwhelming task to educate via mailing of 2,000 a week. Still hasn't allowed for the necessary spreading and educating of the thousands of people who don't LIVE here, but only VISIT. Their ignorance is overwhelming. I've also found it takes practically an army to educate and passing the word that we citizens don't appreciate their abuse of OUR space or the interference with our right to our own peace and freedoms!

There were several ORVs in my immediate area abusing the ordinances of time (normal business hours) hearing noises at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., living alone and knowing I must defend my rights or die trying isn't an option for me. Only seeing lights and hearing the vehicles thrashing through my night and disrupting my sleep and peace wasn't a confrontation (as others have had) I looked forward to having. When these neighbors were given EDUCATION and RESTRICTIONS, and confrontation from local authorities, these nighttime noises ceased for awhile. I had to dial 911 to report them. There is ONLY ONE enforcer in our area, including thousands of square miles and we much need MORE than just one.

With the commercials in which the governor entices people to come to California and with HIS significant budget cuts, ORV enforcement is entirely dependent on these grants to continue to protect private and public lands from ORV abuse. The Mojave is a large place and it will take an army as we see it to be able to address these issues. PLEASE help us protect and preserve these rights and areas.

Thank you for your time.  [Judy Van-Ruggles - 3/29/09]


 My name is William Schmittle, and I live in Burns Canyon, have lived there for 21 years. This is the backway to Big Bear from Pioneertown.

We residents maintain 7 miles of dirt road and are constantly fighting off road vehicles tearing up the road. These include bikes, quads, jeep clubs, hummer clubs, etc.

In the initial states of the OHV code, we called the code enforcement officer to make violation reports. Because of the lack of officers, our complaints were never heeded. Once the code enforcement officer came up. Our road plus our private driveways are constantly abused. We need the extra funding to have a presence in the canyon to stop the violators. Please support the funding. [Bill Schmittle - 3/29/09]


 I am opposed to any grant money going to Federal Id. 90-9387326 San Bernardino County Land Use Services Dept or Law Enforcement. I believe this is a waist of taxpayer money.

First off the majority of OHV complaints have come from Community ORV Watch (COW) now we have the Cows pestering the OHV division about phantom OHV attacks in their neighborhoods. So they cause enough fuss to get California State Parks, BLM, Sheriff and Code Enforcement…. all these agencies involved in a so called “Sting Operation” To catch all these rogue OHV terrorists. What do they find? Nothing! What a waste of resources time and tax payer $$$$.

Law enforcement could be better allocated teaching kids to stay off drugs and be mentors. So more time is wasted putting COW on that agenda for commission meeting this past week. This puts much strain on the people who travel to Sacramento on their own dime only to hear “The sky is falling” tact’s by these over paranoid nuts in Wonder valley.

Now, law enforcement and the OHV program have documentation showing the reality of the situation in Wonder Valley. See report here. http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/files/wonder%20valley%20update.pdf

As far as San Bernardino County Ordinance 3937 it is unconstitutional and preempted by state law. 3973 singles out property owners who use OHV. At the 3973-review hearing, I spoke at length to a Sheriff Deputy. He told me at the time that they were responsible for enforcement of that ordinance as well. I asked him if he felt that the Penal Code was more appropriate for such things, and he just smiled and said: "no comment".

This new 3973 ordinance is just plain wrong. Requiring a permit for a family to assemble on their own land... that's un-American! [Ken Piel - 3/16/09]


 Community ORV Watch of the Morongo Basin is a grassroots organization of residents and businesses dedicated to protecting private and public lands from off-road vehicle (ORV) abuse in the Morongo Basin. We have worked closely with the San Bernardino County Code Enforcement (CE) for the last five years on fair and effective ways to protect private property and county resources. We have grown from a small group of neighbors to over 300 members due to the extent of the ORV problem in the Southern California desert region. COW is a member organization of the Alliance for Responsible Recreation, a coalition of 13 groups working to promote responsible and sustainable recreation.

We are writing to lend our enthusiastic support for the application by CE for an OHMVR grant. Under the leadership of Randy Rogers, CE initiated the effort to create a stakeholder process to install a fair and effective county ORV ordinance that was passed unanimously by the county board of supervisors and is considered a solid success by county, state and federal law enforcement. The ordinance has reduced illegal trespass, large destructive stagings, conflicts between riders and residents, and damage to roads, berms and flood control infrastructure. At the same time, legal and responsible riders appreciate the protections provided by the ordinance and the even-handed way in which the law has been administered. For the first year after the county ordinance, CE issued warnings instead of citations in order to educate the public about the new law and encourage compliance.

We meet regularly with CE and the county Sheriff's department and engage in  constructive dialogue and joint efforts to protect our communities. CE staff work cooperatively with their counterparts in the Sheriff's department with federal rangers through multi-agency meetings. In our experience, CE staff are professional and accessible. Staff return phone calls and emails in a timely manner, they are solution-oriented in their approach and they attend conferences and public meetings.

CE officers work overtime to patrol large areas of desert responding to complaints and  anticipating trouble spots. They are too often ignored, threatened and abused, but they continue to educate the public and issue violations when needed. On major holiday weekends, CE has been over-whelmed in areas where ORVs congregate to engage in illegal activities.

We have found that public education must go hand-in-hand with enforcement. CE's plans to educate the public through notices in county mailings, distribution of brochures and the deployment of road side electronic message boards directing riders to designated ORV areas will make a significant contribution to public safety and the protection of private property.

CE has a proven track record of engagement with the community, outreach and education and a balanced approach toward enforcement of the law. The agency will use grant funds in a fair and effective manner and will help counter the growing impacts of ORVs on our communities. We urge you to fully fund this deserving applicant. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding this recommendation. [Brahm Elmendorp, Victoria Fuller, Sherry Hall, Bob Harris, Phil Klasky, Mary Riggs, Eve Vykydal - 3/5/09]