New Kent County neighborhoods can now apply to use golf carts and utility vehicles along residential streets.
The Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Monday that allows neighborhoods and residents to apply to use golf carts and utility vehicles in some residential areas and designated public streets.
This amends chapter 70 of the county code and, according to state code, the street must have a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less.
The ordinance sets up a process by which neighborhoods and residents can apply to the Board of Supervisors to allow them to utilize golf carts and utility vehicles on certain streets, according to Hathaway.
Neighborhoods and residents must submit a written request to the board, along with the legal name of the neighborhood or resident submitting the application, the name and route number of each public highway to be designated, a petition signed by 51 percent of residents if there’s no homeowner’s association and a $250 application fee. If there is an HOA, the county would defer to their rules.
To drive a golf cart, drivers need to be least 16 and a licensed driver.
Hathaway said he proposed the ordinance based on several requests from citizens.
The ordinance requires residents who wish to drive a golf cart or utility vehicle to have insurance up to $100,000 on the vehicle and to only use the vehicle during daylight hours, unless the vehicle has state approved headlights.
Once the neighborhood or resident applies, the Virginia Department of Transportation must be notified and the neighborhood must purchase and post golf cart driving signage.
The ordinance does not list any particular streets or communities. Once a neighborhood submits an application to the board, the board would have to hold a public hearing to amend the code to include that neighborhood.
Hathaway said the $250 application fee would cover the cost of advertising the public hearing and that, if approved, the entire area of a neighborhood can be designated.
Supervisor Patricia Paige asked why the county should allow golf carts and utility vehicles on county streets.
Supervisor C. Thomas Tiller said he has seen people use them at the Food Lion on Route 60.
“A lot of people use it for convenience,” Tiller said. “A few of my neighbors use it for a neighborhood watch. Some people use them for the right reasons.”
Sheriff Joe McLaughlin Jr. attended the meeting and said drivers of the golf carts or utility vehicles would be subject to the same driving laws as other vehicles.
No residents spoke during the public comment period on the ordinance, which passed 4-1, with Paige voting against the ordinance.
The ordinance went into effect immediately after its approval. Neighborhoods and residents can submit an application and other required information and documents for consideration to the county administrator’s office.
Inspection fees, budget
Hathaway also presented an ordinance that would establish a $55 environmental inspection rescheduling fee, as the county is having issues with contractors not being prepared for scheduled inspections.
Hathaway also presented highlights of the 2019 proposed budget before a public hearing. No residents spoke during the public hearing on the budget.
The board will act on the environmental inspection fee ordinance and the budget at its May 23 meeting.
Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038 or email@example.com