The Vernon City Commission, in their January 27 meeting, approved Ordinance Number 1753 regarding HB 1548 and allowing Off Highway Vehicles in Vernon — however operators must register with the state’s Department of Motorized Vehicles before apply to the City of Vernon for a permit. And currently the state is not yet able to register those vehicles and issue a tag, staff noted.
The issue has come up due to a change to state legislation, allowing Texas cities to allow off road vehicles on city streets.
Community Development’s Monica Wilkinson said city staff had received input from the commission and had drawn up a proposed ordinance that would allow OHVs.
“Basically we just amended our golf cart ordinance to add utility vehicles,” Wilkinson said. “There’s more detail than that but the skinny of it is utility vehicles would not be able to travel on vernon streets until they were issued a license plate from the Department of Motorized Vehicles. And last time I talked to them they have still not gotten their policies together and the plates are not done. So we are trying to be proactive and pass something on the books.”
City Manager Marty Mangum added clarification that it would not apply to three-wheelers or any vehicle with a saddle seat.
“It has to have 4 wheels, be side-by-side. And it has to be street legal,” Mangum said.
The commission added that the definition need to include that the vehicle would have to have a roll bar or an enclosed cab.
Commissioner Justin Marsh expressed reservation that the current golf cart ordinance was not being followed by parents and he felt the OHV ordinance would also be abused, but by a more dangerous type of vehicle.
A motion to approve the ordinance was made by commissioner Aydelott and it passed unanimously