Council Asks Staff to Rework Golf Cart Ordinance
The City Council delayed the approval process of a proposed ordinance Tuesday.
Update: The special Town Hall meeting, mentioned near the end of this story, has been moved to Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Lightfoot Recreation Center.
The Temple Terrace City Council decided Tuesday to postpone the first reading of an ordinance that would expand the use of golf carts on city streets.
Council members said they had concerns, including city registration and how it would apply to members of the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, who already register their carts with the club.
The purpose of the proposed ordinance is to encourage the community’s use of golf carts throughout the city and have regulations in place when their use becomes problematic, explained Community Development Director Charles Stephenson.
Under the current ordinance, golf cart users are only permitted to drive to and from the Golf and Country Club.
“The proposed new ordinance dilutes the old ordinance in its entirety and establishes new rules,” Stephenson said.
New provisions would include that:
- all golf carts be registered with the City of Temple Terrace;
- drivers possess a valid driver’s license;
- drivers obey all the rules of the road; and
- golf carts meet basic equipment requirements (such as adequate brakes and steering).
Those who wish to drive golf carts on city streets would register with the city by completing a form online or at City Hall. After paying a $10 annual fee, the registrant would receive a decal to affix to his or her golf cart.
The general area where golf carts would be allowed stretches from south of Fowler Avenue to the Hillsborough River and east of 56th Street to the Hillsborough River. Carts would not be allowed on sidewalks.
Mayor Joe Affronti said he is in favor of the ordinance because golf cart users drive on city streets already, but policing them is difficult.
“At least by registering, it will give us better control over what’s happening in the city,” he said.
But city staff did not realize Tuesday that the Golf and Country Club charges a fee for carts to register with the club. Shaun McCormick, the club’s general manager later said that the club charges members a $20 annual registration fee. That way, it knows which carts have permission to drive on the golf course and which carts don’t.
“I see way too many golf carts driving around the streets of Temple Terrace, and the assumption is that they belong to the golf club,” McCormick said Wednesday. “Many times, that’s not the case.”
Councilmembers asked if the city’s registration would replace the club’s registration or if golf cart users would have to have two separate registrations for the city and the club.
“I understand what you’re saying, but it seems a little unreasonable to have to have two registrations on a golf cart,” said Councilman Ron Govin. “It just doesn’t sound like the right thing to do.”
Councilwoman Alison Fernandez also pointed out that if golf carts were only allowed on city streets south of Fowler Avenue, then residents of Raintree, which is located north of Fowler, wouldn’t be allowed to drive carts around their neighborhood.
Ultimately, councilmembers delayed the first reading of the city’s proposed ordinance so that their concerns could be researched and addressed.
Also during the meeting:
Affronti announced that there will be a special Town Hall meeting on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Lightfoot Recreation Center to review the site plan for the multi-family residential units in the redevelopment area. City council members will have the opportunity to approve or deny the plan, or postpone their decision until a future date.
The council decided to hire an independent consultant on an as-needed basis to review plans submitted by the Vlass group, the developers of the downtown redevelopment project. City Manager Kim Leinbach is in the process of contracting such a consultant.