By Mark Esper
Silverton voters decided to open up the town to marijuana businesses and off-highway vehicles in Tuesday’s election, putting to rest a couple of the most divisive issues facing the town in recent years.
By a vote of 243-179 (58 percent to 42 percent), the town’s voters agreed to allow all-terrain vehicles and unlicensed dirt bikes access to downtown via designated routes.
ATV use in the backcountry of the high San Juans has grown in popularity in recent years and backers of the measure hoped it would spur the town’s anemic economy.
The measure was supported by the Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce board, but was opposed by some who feared it would detract from the town’s historic character.
Unlicensed off-highway vehicles are prohibited on streets and roads in Colorado unless towns and counties allow them.