Cal City OHV

It is a recurring debate in California City, whether the tens of thousands of off-road enthusiasts that visit each year to take advantage of riding areas on the city’s northeast side are a benefit or detriment to the city. Mayor Chuck McGuire opened the subject Tuesday in questioning whether to renew a designated OHV trail into the city center.

CALIFORNIA CITY — Mayor Chuck McGuire reopened a recurring debate in California City about whether the tens of thousands of off-road enthusiasts who flock to the city each year provide any benefit to the city and its residents.

“These OHV trails have not been good for the city as a whole. It has benefited a very small, selected group,” he said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

McGuire spoke in regard to an item under the Council’s consent agenda that would renew a 2008 resolution that designated an off-road trail on the east side of Neuralia Road extending from the off-road areas on the north side of the city into the city’s business district.

The current resolution expires on Aug. 31, and staff requested a new one to extend the designation another five years.

McGuire argued that when the trail was first designated, there were no businesses in the city’s northern reaches, but that now the commercial marijuana industry is arriving in the area. Additionally, riders do not follow the 10 mph posted speed limit on the trail and do not stay off public streets as required, he said.

“Off-road vehicles seem to be getting a little out of control in this area,” he said.

McGuire also said there is no documentation to support claims by proponents that the off-road visitors bring business.

“This city has grown and started to move forward. My feeling is that OHV should be kept in the desert,” he said. “If this is such a hot thing, then why doesn’t the city of Los Angeles, the city of San Francisco, San Bernardino do this, or any other city that’s in the state of California?”

“This is not benefiting the city as a whole. That’s the bottom line,” McGuire said.

The Council took no action on the item on Tuesday, instead tabling it and requesting the matter be brought back at a later date.

The next discussion should also be supported by maps of the trail and more information, the Council instructed.

“There’s various opinions about this,” Police Chief Eric Hurtado said, suggesting it may be best to hold off on a decision to allow time for businesses and residents to provide input.

Mayor Pro Tem Gene Stump argued in favor of some means of allowing riders into the city’s businesses, with controls on speed and where they may ride.

“All it does is a win-win for them and a win-win for the city,” he said.

(1) comment


Dearest Mayor,

3% of Californians operate OHVs, with a cost per vehicle of 5000 to 50000 each.

These same Californios spend 50000 to 500000 for tow vehicles to get to the desert.

Just exactly whom is not benefitting financially from the patronage of Californios OHV users?

Looking the photos used in the story, you could walk across the desert on the tops of all the RVs.

California City’s dazzling economy would be far less without these Californios OHV users.

Stating only few benefit, is interesting in that you are stating there is benefit.

So, which is it, mayor?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.