The city of Clarkesville voted to approve an ordinance that would allow citizens to drive registered golf carts on city roads with a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour.
Clarkesville Mayor Barrie Aycock said community members have been asking council for years to consider letting citizens navigate downtown Clarkesville in their golf carts. Councilman Franklin Brown, himself a golf cart owner, said he also favors an ordinance that would allow citizens to use their golf carts downtown.
The council discussed bringing the topic to the citizens for a public hearing at their February meeting after discussing the ordinance from time to time since 2020. The town held a convened meeting and hearing on March 16 including Now Habersham was not informed.
During that meeting, according to the minutes, council heard concerns from two citizens who approved of the ordinance and one who did not. Brown also expressed his approval for the ordinance at that meeting, according to the minutes, saying he thought the golf carts would make it easier for seniors to attend Clarkesville events and patronize businesses. He went on to say that he didn’t expect there to be more than 20 carts in town.
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According to the ordinance approved at their meeting on Monday, the areas where golf carts would be allowed to operate in the city will be limited to city streets with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less, as well as streets that will be designated by road signs. . These signs will come at a later date.
The city also plans to put up “slow down” signs, which it says will be better for foot traffic as well as golf cart traffic.
“Personal transportation vehicles,” as golf carts are referred to in the ordinance, must have a maximum of four wheels, weigh less than 1,375 pounds, have an operating speed of less than 20 miles per hour, and carry a maximum of eight people to drive to Clarkesville.
In order for an individual to drive their golf cart in Clarkesville, they will need to register their cart at City Hall and receive a cart sticker signifying registration for $15. To register, a cart must be equipped with a brake system, reverse alarm, main power switch, headlights, taillights, reflectors, horn, mirror, safety/warning labels, seat belts and/or handles.
The council, which currently has only three members, voted 2-1 to approve the ordinance. Councilman Terry Gladden was in opposition.