Breaking News: Needles, CA: Mayor announces City of Needles’ Off Highway Vehicle Legislation unanimously passes California State Assembly and California State Senate Transportation Committee.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Sources: City of Needles and Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams (Information)

Needles, California: Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams announced during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council (N.C.C.) and Needles Public Utility Authority (N.P.U.A.) on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 that the City of Needles’ Off-Highway Vehicle Legislation was “unanimously passed” out of the California State Assembly, and that legislation went to the California State Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, and that “It stayed on their Consent Calendar and it passed unanimously.”

This legislation, AB 2152, would expand the existing Inyo County pilot program to the similarly situated City of Needles.

According to AB 2152 (Introduced, Smith. Vehicles: off-highway vehicle recreation: City of Needles), existing law authorizes an off-highway motor vehicle that has been issued a plate or device to be operated or driven upon a highway under certain circumstances.

Existing law authorizes various public entities, and the Director of Parks and Recreation, to designate a highway, or portion thereof, for the combined use of regular vehicular traffic and off-highway motor vehicles if certain requirements are met, including a prohibition on a designation of greater than 3 miles.

Existing law, until January 1, 2025, authorizes the County of Inyo to operate a pilot project that exempts specified combined-use highways in the unincorporated area in the County of Inyo from this prohibition to link together existing roads in the unincorporated portion of the county to existing trails and trailheads on federal Bureau of Land Management or United States Forest Service lands in order to provide a unified linkage of trail systems for off-highway motor vehicles, as prescribed.

Existing law requires the County of Inyo to prepare and submit to the Legislature reports evaluating the effectiveness and environmental impacts of the pilot project, as specified.

This bill would authorize, until January 1, 2028, a similar pilot program in the City of Needles, and would also require the City of Needles, in conjunction with specified state agencies, to prepare and submit to the Legislature reports evaluating the effectiveness and environmental impacts of the pilot project by January 1, 2027, as specified.

Needles City Mayor Jeff Williams said that the legislation will go to the California State Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee then afterwards to the California State Senate and to the California Governor to sign the legislation.

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