Twin Lakes considering ordinance on golf cart use

Twin Lakes Village Board members discussed the possibility of enacting an ordinance that would allow golf cart use on village streets.

The discussion took place at the board’s committee of the whole meeting last week. It was in response to a group of residents who had asked to be allowed to use golf carts on the roads at an earlier meeting.

Golf cart use on village streets is not allowed currently, Twin Lakes Police Chief Adam Grosz said at the meeting.

In 2015, Paddock Lake enacted an ordinance allowing golf carts to be used on the streets of that village. That ordinance requires registration of the vehicles as well a number of other conditions. The village held a non-binding referendum on the issue in which residents voted Yes 665 to No 409 to a question of whether golf cars should be allowed on village streets.

Village administrator Jennifer Frederick and Grosz said feedback from other communities that allow golf carts was not positive.

Among complaints from other communities are golf cart operators ignoring registration requirements, not following rules of the road and riding down the middle of roadways.

Frederick said her priority would be to have an ordinance that was enforceable by the local police force.

Village President Howard Skinner acknowledged that some people use golf carts in the village in technical violation of the current ordinance, but he questioned the need to adopt an ordinance regulating their use, which he called “opening a big can of worms.”

“On golf carts, I don’t have any problem with them,” Skinner said. “Who cares if they have a golf cart. You’re not causing trouble, you probably won’t have a problem. … Until we have a problem, we don’t have a problem.”

Grosz said complaints about golf carts have not been a problem. Whether to enforce the current ban is up to an officer’s discretion, he added.

“If you don’t have an ordinance, it won’t be legal to have a golf cart on the roads,” Grosz said.

Some trustees disagreed with the idea of essentially looking the other way on golf cart use and preferred carts either be banned or allowed via ordinance.

“You’re going to make it legal or you’re not going to make it legal,” said Trustee Tom Connolly.

A handful of people interested in the issue attended the meeting with two addressing the board. The second speaker advocated for having an ordinance because he knew of people that had been stopped by police for innocuous golf cart use.

It was unclear by the end of the discussion what the next step might be.

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