Ventura’s new ordinance regulating the use of all-terrain vehicles in the community— and specifically in two public land areas, has been endorsed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The Ventura City Council approved the use of ATVs and UTVs within city limits on Feb. 13 with a goal of allowing local fishing enthusiasts to have lake access directly from their homes and to access neighboring Hancock County where ATV/UTV use is legal.
A short time later, the city was informed that it would be illegal for an ATV or UTV to gain lake access from areas the city had denoted on a map included in the ordinance. IDNR Park Ranger Josh Rembe explained an explicit exception would be required to allow use at Lynne Lorenzen Access Park and at the fishing jetty park on South Main Street.
The IDNR posted signs prohibiting ATV/UTV use in McIntosh Woods State Park and at that lake access.
Ventura City Clerk Else Taylor said city leaders have seen ATV and UTV use increase dramatically in recent years and have consistently been encouraged to allow their use within the city. She said the ordinance specified operator requirements for use and was done to promote safety, as well as encourage outdoor fishing and hunting opportunities.
Taylor said the city’s ordinance had been in a holding pattern until last week when Chuck Gipp, IDNR director, granted the land use exception.
“Local biologists and park staff have deter-