League City to hold public hearing on golf carts
Click on the video above to view the city's announcement of a public hearing.
League City officials will hear from residents on Tuesday, Feb. 23, about the regulation of golf carts on the city's streets.
A public hearing on the issue will be held during City Council's 6 p.m. meeting at City Council Chambers, 200 W. Walker. Mayor Toni Randall said she expects City Council to approve an ordinance for the vehicles by this summer.
This has gone on long enough," Randall said. We'll go ahead and address it and set down some rules and go from there. I look for council to act on this pretty quick."
Under state law, a golf cart can be driven in master-planned communities and on beaches. It can also be operated on a public highway with a speed limit of up to 35 miles per hour, be driven no more than 2 miles from its usual parking space, and be used for transportation to or from golf courses.
According to City Attorney Arnold Polanco, it is difficult for police officers and residents to know where it's acceptable to operate a golf cart because the term master-planned community does not have a legal definition.
The city's police department provided City Council with four options for the regulation of golf carts last year, but after being bombarded by e-mails and telephone calls about the issue, City Council decided to have a public hearing on it. The four options can be viewed here.
Randall, who owns a pink golf cart with a white top, said she is in favor of a city ordinance that would allow a golf cart on city streets with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less. She said many residents have expressed support to her for that option.
Randall said she also wants golf carts to be registered annually with the city and for their drivers to have valid driver's licenses. She said she envisions golf carts factoring in to the city's future.
So much, that she wants the vehicles to be included in the city's trails plan.
I think that this is something that is here to stay for a long time," Randall said.
In November, Nassau Bay approved an ordinance that allows golf carts to be driven on city streets that do not have a speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour. Nassau Bay's highest speed limit is 35 mph.
League City Police Chief Mike Jez said he believes that City Council is reviewing Nassau Bay's golf cart ordinance. After Tuesday's public hearing, he said he hopes that City Council asks for the police department to make a recommendation on the issue at a later date.
But City Council could also direct the city's police department to prepare a certain ordinance for golf carts, Jez said.
We'll just see where it goes," Jez said.
Councilwoman Phyllis Sanborn said she is leaning towards allowing golf carts to be driven on certain city streets that are not major thoroughfares. Drivers of the vehicles should also be required to have a driver's license, she said.
I want it to be safe for everybody," Sanborn said. I don't want it in any way to increase accidents or any kind of injuries."
But Sanborn said her biggest concern is determining the streets where golf carts could be driven.
Just because it's not called a main thoroughfare doesn't mean some streets would be safe for them," she said. Main thoroughfare sounds good, but there may be a street that could be dangerous that's not considered one."
Like Randall, Councilman Jim Nelson said he supports golf carts being driven on non-major thoroughfares in the city as long as the vehicles are registered annually with the city and their drivers have driver's licenses.
There's got to be some sort of control," Nelson said. They need to follow the rules of the road."
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