By Erika Webb
Three DeLand retirement communities got the go-ahead from the city to use golf carts on city streets within their neighborhoods.
The DeLand City Commission voted unanimously Jan. 6 to designate roadways for golf cart operation in the Alliance Community for Retirement Living, the Florida Lutheran Retirement Center and Woodland Towers.
All three use golf carts for their operations, including on or across public streets, according to the city.
In 2010, the commission established parameters for golf cart use on city roadways, but the ordinance was structured to require the commission to adopt a roadway-designating ordinance to control and legitimize existing usage, the city reported.
The new action defines the areas in or adjacent to the retirement communities where golf carts may be used.
Pursuant to Florida law, the DeLand Police Department conducted a study to determine whether or not golf carts can safely be used on the designated roadways.
"All three facilities utilize golf carts for the primary purpose of providing security, maintenance and transporting residents," Lt. Jack Waples, the department's special projects manager, noted in his review. "Travelling upon public roadways, which surround these locations, is extremely limited and will have little impact on these roads."
The Alliance Community and Florida Lutheran require cart operators to complete an operation and safety orientation, Lt. Waples advised, adding Woodland Towers has only one golf cart, which is used for resident transport between its two facilities directly across from each other on Chipola Avenue.
Both The Alliance Community and Florida Lutheran use the carts to transport residents, staff, maintenance personnel, lawn/grounds keepers, housekeeping staff and for marketing, Lt. Waples noted.
Florida Lutheran and Woodland Towers each utilize one cart at night for security checks, and The Alliance Community's golf carts only operate during daylight hours, he reported.
DeLand Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington said cart usage on designated roadways is not limited to facility personnel.
"Although the intent is to allow the security and staff the ability to use a golf cart to transport residents with mobility issues, provide security and grounds maintenance, we cannot control who utilizes the option to drive a golf cart in designated areas," Ms. Arrington said. "I do not think that the retirement communities are promoting resident use within the community."
Alliance Community: Winnemissett Avenue from Woodland Boulevard to Clara Avenue; Volusia Avenue from Florida Avenue to Clara Avenue; Division Street from Woodland to Florida Avenue; Florida Avenue from Division Street to Volusia Avenue; South San Souci Avenue from Winnemissett Avenue to the gate at Volusia Avenue; Armstrong Avenue for the entire length of the roadway; Alliance Court for the entire length of the roadway.
Florida Lutheran: North Kansas Avenue for the entire length of the roadway; North McDonald Avenue for the entire length of the roadway; East Ohio Avenue east of McDonald Avenue; East Michigan Avenue from McDonald Avenue to Grove Street; Grove Street for the entire length of the roadway; Lark Drive for the entire length of the roadway; Cardinal, Finch and Oriole avenues, the entire length of the roadways.
Woodland Towers: Golf carts may cross Chipola Avenue at the two existing intersections connecting their facilities.
Melissa Miller, a certified medical technician, at Woodland Towers uses, but doesn't drive, the cart.
"We have residents here that go over to visit their friends in the rehab center and come back," Ms. Miller said. "I ride with the residents to help pick them up and drop them off."
Receptionist Gabby Anderson gets a break from her front desk job, usually on Saturdays, to drive residents back and forth.
Appropriate signage as required by city ordinance and state law will be erected on all streets and sidewalks designated for golf cart operation.
There will be two signs for both northbound and southbound traffic on Florida Avenue at the intersection of Armstrong Avenue where carts cross within the marked crosswalk.
Signs will be installed at the intersections of Kansas and Minnesota avenues, McDonald and Minnesota avenues, Kansas and Wisconsin avenues and McDonald and Wisconsin avenues which comprise Florida Lutheran's borders.
At Woodland Towers signs will be placed to identify the location on Chipola Avenue where cart crossing occurs.