After more than 12 months of deliberation, Lakeway City Council amended the city’s golf cart ordinance without implementing an annual registration fee for the use of golf carts at its regular meeting on October 17.
The vote was 6-1, with Council member Louis Mastrangelo opposed.
The revised ordinance requires additional steps, in addition to what is already required by the state, to operate a golf cart on public roads in Lakeway.
The changes to the city code will take effect on January 1.
At their July 18 meeting, board members discussed implementing an annual registration fee of $25 per golf cart.
“The reason we talked about having a registration is that if you wanted to restrict someone’s use of the golf cart, you can’t do it through a license plate; that’s why we would have a recording,” said acting city manager Joseph Molis.
In the end, the board voted against an annual registration fee.
“You can educate the public [about proper golf cart use] without having a registration fee,” said Council member Sanjeev Kumar.
Council member Keith Trecker said an annual check-in would be inconvenient for community members and the police, as it would create extra work for the police and unnecessary additional costs for community members.
Mastrangelo said he was concerned about allowing golf carts on regular streets, which the revised ordinance would allow on certain roads.
“I think we are reacting to a very small minority of people in the city asking for this [ordinance]”, Mastrangelo said. “I think when our ancestors made the original ordinance, they did it for safety reasons, and personally I don’t want that to change.”
Texas government Code 551 restricts golf carts to roads with “no more than 35 miles per hour” speed limits and restricts golf cart use to 5 miles from the driver’s home and to and from the golf course. However, the code also gives municipalities the ability to vary their ordinances, as long as the carts stay on the roads “no more than 35 mph and within the city limits.”
Under Lakeway’s revised ordinance, golf carts can be driven on most city roads with daytime speed limits of 35 mph or less.
The use of golf carts is prohibited on the following roads:
- Lakeway Drive, between Lakeway Boulevard and Cross Creek
- Lohmans Spur, between RM 620 and Lohmans Crossing
- Serene Hills Walk
- Bee Creek Road
- Flint Rock Road
- Highway. 71, including right of way
- RM 620, including right of way
According to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, golf carts are considered unique vehicles. Accordingly, TxDMV does not require titles and registration for golf carts. Carts, however, are eligible to receive a license plate, and plates can be picked up from a county tax assessor-collector’s office.
License plates are required if a golf cart is driving on a street.
Equipment requirements, such as headlights, are the same as the Texas code. Additional requirements now include a slow vehicle emblem. Golf cart drivers will also be asked to use recreational lanes if provided, not tow trailers, have no more passengers than the cart is designed for, do not allow laps track and move for faster vehicles.
Driving golf carts on shared-use trails will also be limited to paths 8 feet or longer, and the city will post signs indicating which shared-use paths are accessible to golf carts for the next few months.