ATV operations remain an issue in Dennis

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Gary Gibson of South Dennis points to a track along Route 83. He said he is tired of putting up with the noise from ATVs. Gary Gibson of South Dennis points to a track along Route 83. He said he is tired of putting up with the noise from ATVs.

DENNIS TOWNSHIP – What constitutes illegal ATV riding in Dennis Township?

That’s a question facing the Consolidated Land Use Board, specifically riding on private property, township solicitor Michael Donohue said in an interview in January.

Gary Gibson of South Dennis wants to see more limits on ATV riding, having put up with the noise from the vehicles since 2009, he said. Depending on the weather, the activity happens often after school lets out for the day and on the weekends, he said. It can get very loud.

“Believe or not, I can’t talk on the telephone,” the 60-year-old said.

The rumble from the off-road vehicles vibrates the windows of his home on Gravel Hole Road and also disturbs meals, he said.

“It’s just a major household disturbance,” Gibson said.

Township Committee in 2012 adopted an amended ordinance that lays out restrictions and penalties for riding ATVs in the township. Under the ordinance riders need the permission of the property owner to ride, but it does not ban riding on private property.

 “I’m not some anti-ATV crusader. Nothing like that,” Gibson said.

ATV riders use tracks on eight or nine properties near Gibson’s house, Gibson said. He says people ride ATVs and dirt bikes on a track at Barry Marine Construction Inc. along Route 83 in South Dennis, which he says goes against what the township code permits.

On Jan. 15, he filed a tort claim against Dennis Township, which lets the municipally know it could face a lawsuit. He filed the notice without an attorney.

Township attorney Donohue would not comment on the tort notice

Gibson alleges that in November a dirt-bike rider threatened him after he told the rider not to ride on the Barry Marine Construction Inc. property.

Two messages left at Barry Marine Construction Inc. were not returned. Mayor Eugene Glemblocki did not respond to a phone calls seeking comment on ATV riding in Dennis Township.

Gibson emailed a formal complaint to township officials and others shortly after the Nov. 18 incident at the property on Route 83. Although a motocross track can be seen on the property, there is no indication it is open for use by anyone but the property owners and their guests.

On that day, a dirt-bike rider allegedly told Gibson to not try to stop riding at that track and made threats. Gibson and Rhonda Keen of South Dennis allegedly took pictures and video of the ATV operator riding on the property, according to the tort notice.

Among those named in the tort claim are Mayor Eugene Glemblocki and Committeemen Brian Teefy, Frank Germanio Jr., Al DiCicco and John Murphy and former committeemen Dennis Crippen and Brian O’Connor.

The tort claim does not specifically mention ATV riding on other properties, but in an interview, Gibson said he hopes that the tort notice will put an end to the nuisance properties.

Gibson wonders why riders don’t head to the new Woodbine track, the Mount Pleasant State Off-Road Vehicle Park that opened last month. That track is owned by the state.

“Why should we be subjected to it [ATV riders]?” Gibson said.

State police spokesman Lt. Stephen Jones said the Woodbine-based State Police have dealt with many ATV and motorcycle incidents in Dennis Township last year.

He said citations have been given out for illegal operation, such as riding on the road and violations of the township’s noise ordinance.

Gibson said he is “actively” starting consultations with attorneys.

No amount is attached to the tort claim but damages are requested. Monetary and punitive damages would be determined by the Superior Court or civil jury in legal proceedings, if a suit were filed and a judge ruled in Gibson’s favor. There is no amount of money listed for impact the ATV riding has caused Gibson.

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