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Golf Cart Ordinance Pending For Local Roads

Scott Rogers
A man on a golf cart drives along A Avenue Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Chicopee Village.

Golf carts may soon be permitted for use on Hall County roads. County administrators debated the proposition during Hall County’s fall retreat at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Assistant County Administrator Casey Ramsey gave an overview of the initial proposals for a countywide code governing personal transportation vehicles (PTVs), citing Flowery Branch’s approach as the best course of action.

“Flowery Branch has a really good ordinance,” Ramsey said. “They hired a consultant to evaluate the community needs, to collect official information (from) the police department and community…they developed a plan and then enacted an ordinance based on that.”

Since state law does require PTV drivers to be licensed, according to Ramsey, current state legislation regulating golf carts would serve as a good basis for general recommendations and requirements, such as safety belts and minimum age restrictions.

Golf carts would only be allowed on roadways having a 25 mph or lower speed limit. The commissioners would have the last say over other provisions of the legislation, which vary from district to district and include things like insurance and registration requirements.

A six-month study by an outside consultant who meets with commissioners, county officials, and community members would be one of the possible next steps in writing such an ordinance. This study is likely to cost $50,000 to $75,000, but commissioners appeared to agree that it would be better to analyze the Flowery Branch code before hiring a consultant.

Currently, using a golf cart on Hall County highways is prohibited. The Gainesville council adopted an ordinance in 2022 that permits the use of PTVs on municipal roadways by anybody holding a current driver’s license.

If a countywide PTV ordinance were passed, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for enforcing laws and regulations, will first examine the proposals and provide input on the idea. The Highlands to Islands Trail would not allow PTVs or other motorized vehicles.

Commissioner Kathy Cooper stated that she took the initiative to lead the idea after receiving calls from multiple citizens who wanted the county to enact an ordinance akin to Flowery Branch.

“We realize there is a lot more work to do. We need some more sheriff’s office input, but our goal is to keep our citizens safe.” – Kathy Cooper, Hall County Commissioner

The most recent municipality in Hall to pass a PTV ordinance was Gainesville, which did so last year.

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Chaz Mullis
Chaz Mullis, Staff Editor
Big fan of movies, music, hiking, and writing.
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