Winter Garden Passes Golf Cart Resolution | West Orange Times & Observer

After weeks of discussion, the Winter Garden City Commission acted on a measure to enact a downtown golf cart neighborhood following unanimous approval at its Thursday, June 10, meeting.

In previous meetings, City Manager Mike Bollhoefer asked for more time to assess safety issues and how the measure would relate to state law.

“We’re very restricted and limited by state statutes…so that really restricts us from doing a lot of different things and it ties our hands,” he said. “By state laws – when it comes to permitting roads for golf carts – we first and foremost find that the roads are safe for golf carts and then make the decision to allow golf carts. That’s what made this whole exercise so difficult. The problem is, state law really hasn’t kept up with what’s been happening in the community when it comes to golf carts.

In the proposal, the city will make two locations — Crown Point Cross Road and the Winter Oaks neighborhood — more golf cart friendly.

“It was easier to do,” Bollhoefer said. “So what we want to do is do them first and then come back later and see how good we are at patrolling the speed and making sure it’s safe, and if it’s successful, come back and look at these other potential communities – linking them in.”

Future areas include The Oaks at Brandy Lake, Lakeview Reserve and Lake Cove Pointe communities.

Connecting these communities is a long-term goal, but communities not in the plan will have the option of getting around in light vehicles, which are like golf carts but faster. They also need seat belts and tags. According to state law, light vehicles are allowed to travel on all roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, as long as there is no signage indicating that they cannot be on the road.

The new golf cart areas also come with changes related to speed and safety procedures.

“Crown Point Cross Road – it’s not a thoroughfare, it’s a local road – but we’re going to lower the speed limit on this road as it’s currently at 40mph which doesn’t make sense,” he said. Bollhoefer said. “We’re going to lower the speed limit there to 25 – we think that’s completely justifiable – and that will allow several more communities to become golf cart accessible.

“There are also other communities there that we added that were still eligible to go, they just never asked for it,” he said. “So by doing that, you can see that there are now a significant number of additional communities that will be golf cart accessible.”

The Winter Oaks community section will not be able to become legal to drive golf carts until signs are installed, while a 20-30 foot section of stamped concrete in different colors will be used to mark carts golf in the area, says Bollhoefer. The same measures will be taken at the far east end of Plant Street. Costs will total up to $30,000.

“That’s what it’s going to cost to do this stuff on all these streets, but I really think we feel comfortable being safe, that’s probably the best way to approach it. “Bollhoefer said.

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