SPI discusses golf cart operation at night – Port Isabel-South Padre Press

By DAVID LOPEZ
Special PRESS

After forming a committee of himself and council member Ken Medders, Kerry Schwartz’s proposals to limit golf cart use on South Padre Island were tabled by council members during the week’s regular meeting. last.
Beginning first with the posting of signs prohibiting golf carts on the 100 freeway (where the speed limit exceeds 35 mph), Shwartz said what concerns him most is driver safety.
“It’s in no way punitive,” Schwartz said. “It’s a security measure.”
Despite further discussions and support from Medders, the remaining council members voted to table the motion until they had further discussions with the golf cart community, stakeholders and residents.
On the same issue, the board then discussed the larger topic of proposing that staff and law amend the ordinances code to restrict rental golf cart hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Schwartz made it clear that the city council was not voting on the ordinance because it had not yet been drafted, and that if a motion was approved, it would be to order a review of ordinance 18-30.
“In an effort to prevent and reduce the risk of future serious accidents and possible fatalities such as recently occurred in Galveston, Councilman Medders and I have consulted with staff and the City Attorney to bring to the city council with recommendations to improve golf cart safety,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz offered his rationale, saying he, Medders, the city manager and SPI’s police chief had reviewed golf cart ordinances from other coastal towns, including Corpus Christi and Rock Port, which both prohibit driving golf carts at night. “These ordinances coincide with a Texas law that prohibits nighttime use of golf carts,” he said.
Along with the restrictions, Schwartz said the ordinance would also address car nuisances such as honking and shouting from golf carts.
Pro-Tem Mayor Joe Ricco stepped in to ask the police chief how many cart-related accidents the city had had in the past 12 months. Chef Claudine O’Carroll answered 20, with zero after 9 p.m. Ricco pointed out that the data did not support the proposed order. However, Schwartz rebutted saying there was no data yet, as the number of registered golf carts on the island has risen from 600 a year ago to 902, of which 540 are rentals and 330 personal golf carts.
Several residents took to the podium to speak out on the issue, with most speaking out against the ordinance because they used golf carts for personal or professional reasons.
Mayor Patrick McNulty asked City Attorney Edmund Cyganiewicz if a business could argue that this ordinance was a “take” if they could prove that this ordinance negatively impacted their business.
They could argue that, the legal department said.

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