Would you think that an ADV motorcycle training facility would be a significant noise concern? According to KPCW, it is with at least two Utah Planning Commissioners.
A local Utah couple, Terry Woodruff and Kari Juip, are applying for a Conditional Use Permit to develop a “glamping” commercial spot on a little over 47 acres in Utah’s Garff Ranches area. The site would be about a mile and three-quarters away from Browns Canyon Road.
ADV motorcycle training facility
Their planned facility would include activities like hiking and snowshoeing in the winter, clinics on cooking or backcountry survival, and health and wellness retreats. In addition, the couple plans to offer ADV motorcycle training.
The couple is not proposing a large commercial complex; it’s to be a guest ranch. Guests will have access to a barn and six primitive yurts.
ADV motorcycle issues
Yet, it seems that at least two of the commissioners are concerned most about the “problems” presented by motorcycles. Commissioners say that issues associated with noise, dust, and potential trespassing caused by motorcyclists give them concern.
Planning Commissioner Rich Sonntag said his two major concerns are motorcycle noise and fugitive dust. If you are not familiar with fugitive dust, it is particles of soil or minerals that take to the air by wind or mechanical activity. In the case of the proposed facility, the issue is the purported fugitive dust caused by motorcycles.
ADV motorcycle training facility, not a racetrack
Kari Juip told commissioners that the project does not include a motocross track. And she added that motorcycle training is just one of the facility’s amenities.
“And also keep in mind there’s at least two major working quarries nearby. So if noise has been an issue, I thought that that would have come forward by now. And these motorcycles are not ever under full throttle. This is low power. We ride them at 30 miles an hour or less. And that’s not the only use of this property. There aren’t any residents within 120 acres east, west, north or south of us. So noise wasn’t the issue that we would anticipate. But we’re not riding motorcycles on the road. We would be riding motorcycles on our instructional course, which is within our property. And there’s zero dust on it. It’s all sand, rock, logs.” – Kari Juip
ADV motorcycle community
Juip also told the commissioners that her potential clientele are an “amazing community” interested in off-road motorcycle adventures.
“It’s such an intense, an intensely supportive amazing community of successful people who are trying to figure out a way to get into the back country and explore and have adventures and do all of the things we all wanna do to escape our everyday lives. When you bring all of those people together, it creates a community that is enabling and supportive and encouraging and it lets you accomplish things that you never thought you could accomplish. And it just so happens that you’re accomplishing them on a 450-pound motorcycle.”
Responding to Juip’s comments, Sonntag went on to say that he could support the facility if all the motorcycles were electric and noiseless. While Sonntag’s response is concerning, it’s the statements from a different commissioner that some may consider outrageous.
Commissioner Tom Clyde said he’s excited about the other elements of the proposed guest ranch, which he says are in line with the area’s zoning. But Clyde says that he can hear the noise from a motorcycle trailhead three-quarters of a mile away at his home. And he says that it wouldn’t be any better in Brown’s Canyon.
“I’m saying how can we possibly approve that, against properties that people bought with the idea that they were gonna buy 40 acres of isolated property in Garff Ranches, and live in serene solitude, away from all of the noise and chaos of the modern world, and then we put a motorcycle track next to it. And I don’t know if you can define things in a way that will satisfy me on the noise issue. But my personal experience with motorcycles is that I actually, as I see them go by my house and roar up the canyon, I wish them ill. It’s like I hope you hit a big log and break your neck and have to be evacuated by helicopter. And so that’s the context I’m coming from.”
It’s surprising that the planning commissioner would publically say that he wished motorcyclists ill will and severe injury. But that point aside, it would seem that Juip’s statements, if true, would assuage Clyde’s concerns. Juip particularly pointed out that the facility is not a racetrack. In fact, she explicitly said that the bikes would be traveling at 30 MPH or less.
And regarding Clyde’s statement about serene solitude, Juip also said that the closest neighbor in any direction was more than “120 acres east, west, north or south” of the proposed site. So that seems to be a pretty fair buffer zone for motorcycles traveling at 30 mph or less.
Different commissioner viewpoints
Not all commissioners see things the same way as Clyde. One commissioner, Alex Peterson, said he had a concern similar to a local resident’s. That resident is concerned that riders would stray from the guest ranch and onto the network of trails in the region. But Peterson said that he had confidence in the applicants Woodruff and Juip.
As of this writing, the East Side Commission had not yet decided on the application. Ultimately it directed the commission’s planning staff to formulate some conditions stipulating that riders would have to stay on the ranch’s property.
If you want to learn the full story on this issue, click over to KPCW’s website for all the details, both in writing and audio.