By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH — The Vero Beach City Council will soon discuss allowing some golf cart drivers to use city streets as a valid method of transportation.
During the Dec. 4 meeting, the council heard from city manager Jim O’Connor that there have been misunderstandings of where golf carts can be driven on roadways in the Riomar Country Club.
According to city attorney Wayne Coment, in 1984 an ordinance was passed to allow residents in the Riomar community to drive their golf carts on certain streets for the purpose of traveling to the golf course.
The ordinance was never repealed, which means it is still legal, but somehow the rule was never put into the codebook, which is what the police department goes by when enforcing the law. This has caused confusion between members of the community who have been around for more than 25 years and police officers with no knowledge of the longstanding ordinance Mr. Coment said.
In a 3-2 vote, the city council directed the city manager to update and revise the ordinance to officially make it known where the golf carts can be driven.
The draft ordinance initially brought forward by Mr. O’Connor would repeal the old ordinance and implement an updated new one and also amend the city code to include the rule.
The ordinance is scheduled to come before the council for a first reading and public discussion on Jan. 8.
A list of the proposed designated streets follows.
Joe Collins, representative of the country club, said the permission to drive carts on city streets is an integral part of how the country club operates.
He strongly encouraged the council to update and implement the ordinance to avoid any further confusion and to allow residents peace of mind they are not doing something illegal.
Mayor Craig Fletcher said he had “grave reservations” about turning Vero Beach into a golf cart community, but he recognized the history with Riomar Country Club and would most likely approve the ordinance once presented.
Vero Beach Police Chief David Curry said he would recommend moving forward with the revised ordinance to allow golf carts in certain areas of Riomar, but would not be in favor of extending any further permission to areas outside the golf course community.
“This is not for people who want to drive and shop,” Chief Curry said.
Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll said she saw the issue was a benefit to some residents and not others and was not in favor of moving forward with an ordinance at all.
To view agendas or for more information about upcoming city government meetings, visit www.covb.org.
The proposed designated streets where it would be permissible to drive the golf carts are as follows:
Flamevine Lane from Highway A1A to Ocean Drive
Gayfeather Lane from Highway A1A to Cardinal Drive
Hibiscus Lane from Highway A1A to Cardinal Drive
Eagle Drive from Hibiscus Lane to Flamevine Lane
Iris Lane from Highway A1A to Cardinal Drive
Riomar Drive from the western terminus to Ocean Drive
Painted Bunting Lane from Highway A1A to Ocean Drive
Sandfly Lane from the western terminus to Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive from Bay Oak Lane, north of the curve to Flamevine Lane
Bay Oak Lane from Club Drive to beginning of the curve
Club Drive from Marigold Lane to Riomar Drive
Greenway Lane from Club Drive to Ocean Drive
Ladybug Lane from Club Drive to Ocean Drive
Seagrape Lane from Club Drive to Ocean Drive
Tulip Lane from Club Drive to Ocean Drive
Lake Drive (private road) from Highway A1A to the west
Lagoon Road (private road) from Lake Drive to the western terminus
Egret Point (private road) from Highway A1A to the west
A first reading and public comment on the proposed ordinance will take place at the Jan. 8 city council meeting.