PROCEDURES TO ADD NEW ATV/UTV ROUTES ON COUNTY HIGHWAYS
The Chippewa County Highway Committee recognizes that ATV/UTV use within the County is on the increase. An ATV/UTV route as defined in these procedures is a section of a county highway that is designated for the use of ATV/UTV’s by the Chippewa County Board of Supervisors. A route is generally recognized as a means to connect municipal routes and the terminal ends of a trail when they are obstructed by impediment. The Wisconsin State Statutes give counties the authority to accommodate ATV/UTV’s on county trunk highways designated as routes. The single most important route consideration is the safety of all users.
NEW ATV/UTV ROUTE APPLICATIONS
To request a new route, an application form requesting that new route must be completed by the Chippewa Valley ATV Council or local municipality and forwarded electronically to the Chippewa County Highway Department for consideration. Applications must be for single routes and shall be submitted by August 31st to be considered and approved by March 31st of the following year. Any change in an existing approved route will cause that route to be considered as new and cause a new route application to be submitted. The non-refundable New Route Application fee is $100 and shall be included with the application.
To determine if an application qualifies for further consideration, the Highway Department will evaluate the application based upon the following criteria:
-Whether the application was fully completed and submitted with a route map and payment.
-Whether the Applicant mailed a Resident Notification Letter to all adjacent property owners by U.S. Mail.
-Whether alternative routes have been investigated leaving no other practical options other than the use of a county trunk highway.
-Whether the route is being requested for one of the following reasons:
1. The route will connect trails or municipal road route networks
2. The route addresses safety issues
3. The route provides access to business or services
-Commercial Truck Traffic Volumes
-Posted Speed Limit
-Highway Functional Classification (map)
-Length of Route
-Distance to nearest trail with open public access
-Existence of residences within 150’ of route
ATV route applications are administered by the County Highway Commissioner. The route applicant may contact the Highway Commissioner at (715) 726-7914 with questions. Completed route applications shall be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the Highway Department determines that the application qualifies for further consideration, the Highway Department shall request input and approval from the Sheriff’s Department.
The application will be reviewed with the Applicant so that all needed information can be exchanged and all requirements and restrictions can be explained. Additionally, all signage requirements and estimated costs to execute the project will be identified. Once the Applicant has met all requirements of these Procedures, the Highway Department shall notify the Chippewa County Highway Committee of its findings.
Following due consideration of public input, economic and recreational value of connecting trails and municipal routes, weighted against public dangers, public health, liability aspects, terrain involved, traffic density and history of automobile and truck traffic, the Highway Committee will review the requested route and determine whether or not to approve the route for review and approval by the Chippewa County Board of Supervisors as an ordinance amendment to Section 58-39 of the Chippewa County Code of Ordinances. If the route is approved by the County Board, the County Clerk will send notification of the approved route to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and to the Sheriff’s Department for enforcement purposes. The route shall be considered open when all necessary signage has been installed.
The Highway Department, as the maintaining authority for county highways with ATV/UTV routes in Chippewa County, shall perform the installation of signage in compliance with NR 64 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. All costs for signage, installation, maintenance, and removal shall be borne by the Applicant. Additionally, all maintenance costs that arise for the highways due to ATV/UTV traffic or damage shall be charged to the Applicant.
APPLICATION DENIAL OR ROUTE CLOSURE
If an application is denied, the Highway Commissioner shall notify the Applicant in writing and explain the reason for the denial.
Additionally, the Highway Commissioner shall have the authority to temporarily or permanently close a route subject to review and final determination by the Highway Committee. Temporary signs indicating the route closure will be erected. Should the designated route be permanently closed, the route signage will be entirely removed by the Highway Department. The Highway Commissioner shall provide timely notice of any temporary or permanent route closure to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Sheriff’s Department.
If an application is denied or revoked, the Applicant may request a review of the decision. The request must be in writing and received by the Highway Department within 30 days of receipt of the decision to deny or revoke the route. The Highway Committee shall then schedule a hearing within 60 days of receipt of the request for review. The person making the request shall be given written notice of the hearing at least 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing. At the hearing, that person shall have the opportunity to present evidence to the Committee concerning the reasons for the request.
Within 30 days of the hearing, the Highway Committee shall make its decision regarding the request. The Highway Committee may reverse, confirm, or modify the previous decision. The Highway Department shall take action in conformance with the Committee’s decision.
These Procedures shall become effective upon approval by the Chippewa County Highway Committee.
Approved this 22nd day of August, 2018, by the Chippewa County Highway Committee