Red River OHV ordinance could be in place by summer

(Chronicle file photo)

RED RIVER — With the passage of SB 270, according to Red River Marshal David Smith, “Municipalities are allowed to regulate off-highway vehicle (OHV) use under limited conditions inside their boundaries. This simply would allow limited use of off-highway vehicles upon the streets of Red River.”

Red River’s Town Council briefly took up the discussion at the end of its Tuesday (March 22) meeting, the first meeting since the re-election of Councilors George Woerndle and Dan Foley, who had been appointed to finish the term of Jeff Brown.

“It would be nice if (a proposed ordinance) were in place by the June meeting,” Councilor George Woerndle said.

Smith said he is checking into the process of asking the State Department of Transportation for permission to use state Highways 38 and 578 for road crossings and short-distance travel. The town would be able to approve limited OHV travel on other paved Red River Streets through an ordinance. The vehicles are already allowed on unpaved roads, according to Smith.

During the preliminary discussion, Smith, Calhoun, Woerndle and Councilors Dan Foley and Steve Cherry (Councilor Ben Richey was absent) discussed keeping the ATVs off Main Street, speed limits and establishing a curfew to keep noise levels down.

In a statement he sent to many Red River residents and business owners on March 9, the day Gov. Susana Martinez signed the bill, Smith noted, “We will start the process of getting public input, crafting the wording of the needed ordinance and then will make an effort to get all information out to the public in every way possible. If you have questions or suggestions regarding this issue please take the time to contact me at or call or come by the office. I will respond to each one and am glad to discuss the details with anyone interested.”

P & Z Variances

Council approved several variance requests (see below) but postponed a decision on a request by Heidi Brown to continue operating her business The Hideout on the River between River Street and the Red River.

The Hideout
The Hideout on the River (Facebook Photo)

The restaurant is in a mobile home, which is at odds with zoning against metal buildings.

“I would think she could come up with something that would meet our requirements and that would still be cute,” Mayor Linda Calhoun said.

Councilor George Woerndle said, “Maybe she could keep the front open.”

After a discussion on the issue council agreed the best solution was to put some type of wood siding on sides and back — an easy solution since the restaurant already has a post and beam shelter covering.

“We’ll get with the attorney and revise that,” Calhoun said.

Council voted to approve Brown’s conditional use provided she complies with the town’s new conditions. Council also approve the following:

  • A request by Randy Lyles to put a 2 x 8-foot “Buy One, Get One Free” sale banner at Crazy Mountain Sports through the end of March.
  • A request by Robert Banos to have outdoor seating at Old Tymer’s Cafe during summer months.
  • A request by Liz Tate to operate Little Lizzy’s Mini Donuts in front of the Gold Nugget May through October.

Two ordinance revisions pass

Council approved changing building permit fees to $35 residential, $50 commercial for building, construction or remodeling projects that are less than 1,000 square feet; and $50/$75 for over 1,000 square feet.

Sign ordinance revisions that clarify size constraints and the use of banner-type signs also passed. Under the ordinance, main signs are limited to 50-square-feet and up to 75 square feet with additional signs. Banner-type signs that are up for more than 30 consecutive days must be framed and taut.


  1. I think an ohv trail in and around Red River would be a great thing. Care full planning would be necessary to control their use and keeping them off main street would be needed because there are always idiots who can’t behave. I have been coming to Red River since 1978 to ride the trails and being able to ride to the trailheads would be a big plus. This might require some sort of special trail. It would be a shame to allow only utvs to travel this ( I don’t own one yet ) but they would be a start. I know many towns in Colorado allow passage through their towns so maybe some research there would help. We for sure don’t want to irritate the businesses and guests in town.
    Ps. My age is 64.

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