City council approves first reading of golf cart ordinance

BURTON — Residents are one step closer to being able to drive their golf carts on secondary city streets after the city council unanimously approved the first reading of a new ordinance, June 21.

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance which will allow golf carts to be driven on city streets where the speed limit is under 30 mph at a 15-mph maximum speed limit. They cannot go on main roads where the speed limit exceeds 30 mph or sidewalks and can only be driven by people 16-years-old or older with a valid driver’s license.

The ordinance was drafted by the city attorney and is based on the state law. The ordinance does not allow All- Terrain Vehicles or Off-Road Vehicles on local streets.

“There are still state rules which is basically what our ordinance mirrored and that our residents need to be aware there isn’t free reign with golf carts,” said Council Vice President Greg Fenner. “There are still rules that will need to be followed and be enforced.”

Fenner said he’s pleased the city was able to clear this up and make it so those who are willing to follow the rules can ride their golf carts where they want to.

The rest of the council was supportive of the ordinance, but some said they wanted to keep an eye on how well the ordinance works and whether people follow the rules in the coming year.

“I hope we’re able to enforce this,” said Councilman Danny Wells. “I see these things all over the place and I’m just concerned somebody is going to get hurt. I’m not against them in any way. I think they’re a lot of fun. I just hope we’re able to enforce it. Moving forward we’ll see how it goes. We can always come back and tweak it.”

He added that since the council started talking about this issue earlier in June, he’s seen more people popping up with golf carts at places like Kelly Lake.

“Just families out there having fun,” he said.

At the legislative committee, where the ordinance was first discussed, Fenner said the city has done some research and there are several state laws governing golf carts Burton officials cannot change.

He said the city was able to write an ordinance allowing golf carts, as long as it did not exceed the state ordinance.

The second reading of the ordinance must still be approved before golf carts are allowed on city streets. That vote could come at the next city council meeting.