The Town Board on Monday, July 11, unanimously voted to allow golf carts on town streets.
Carts must be registered with the Police Department, with a $100 annual registration fee required.
Commissioner John Boyette asked police Chief Bill Carter if the move would place a burden on his department. Carter said from his research he didn’t expect so many requests that it would be a problem. He said each registration would take about half an hour to complete.
In a phone interview after the meeting, Commissioner Jason Joyner said he brought up the issue after seeing carts in the Flowers Plantation area of Clayton and seeing Mayor Ginna Gray’s golf cart, which is actually classified as a low-speed vehicle because of several upgraded features it already has.
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This vote allows residents to drive the vehicles on town roads without going to the expense Gray did to make hers OK for street driving, although Joyner noted that the Wendell ordinance is stricter than many of the ones he researched.
“My thought was ‘What could we do that’s different, that’s unique that would promote a sense of community in Wendell,” Joyner said.
In addition to being registered with the police department, the carts must have rear-view mirrors, operating headlights, be no taller than 22 inches from the ground to the floor of the cart, be covered by liability insurance and have an annual inspection.
They also must “meet the size and shape that conforms to the industry standard for golf carts.”
Registration will have to be renewed annually.
Carts would be allowed on streets within the town limits where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.
Carts would not be allowed on state-maintained roads, including Wendell Boulevard, Selma Road and Wendell Falls Parkway, although they are allowed to cross those roads on town streets where carts are permitted.
If the crossing road does go directly across those busier roads, Carter said, the carts are allowed to go on them long enough to get to the next cross street. He gave the example of where North Main Street meets Wendell Boulevard and there is no street directly across from it. Carts would be allowed to travel along Wendell Boulevard long enough to cross over to Pine Street.
Town Manager Teresa Piner said after the meeting that the ordinance does not apply to the two KIOTI utility task vehicles, or UTVs, donated to the town in 2012 and earlier this year.
“UTVs are not covered,” she said. “If we’re out using it working it’s one thing, but as far as just on the street, it’s not permitted.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826