Glynn County Commissioners voted Thursday to delay a new golf cart ordinance as it relates to personal transportation vehicles.
Golf carts are separated into two categories by Georgia’s state law: a personal transportation vehicle, or PTV, has a top speed of 19 mph or less and can transport no more than eight people, while a low-speed vehicle, or LSV, has a top speed between 20 and 25 mph.
Enforcement of state laws in regards to LSVs will continue as normal, said Glynn County Police Chief John Powell. PTV owners will get a little more time to register their carts before the new local ordinance goes into effect.
The ordinance would have gone into effect today, but Glynn County Police Department officers will now begin enforcing the new rules on Jan. 15. Details on the ordinance can be found at tinyurl.com/golfcartlawdetails.
“I think, in an attempt to address an issue in one part of the county, St. Simon Island, we’ve created some confusion about what can and can’t be on the road,” said Commissioner David O’Quinn.
Per state law, LSVs can drive on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, while PTVs will be restricted to streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less after Jan. 15.
The point of confusion O’Quinn referred to relates to gas-powered PTVs modified to exceed 19 mph. Gas-powered PTVs are regulated by the county, Commissioner Peter Murphy said at an Oct. 2 town hall meeting. Modified PTVs, however, are more difficult to pin down and may be a blind spot in state law.
Commissioner Bill Brunson said Thursday that Florida’s state legislature regulated such PTVs, and extending the deadline on the county’s golf cart ordinance will give citizens time to lobby their state representatives and senators to make the necessary amendment to state law.
The ordinance won’t change, but the deadline extension will give owners of PTV, modified and standard, time to adapt to the new rules, he explained.
“Our intent was good, it was about safety,” said Brunson.
To drive on public roads LSVs will need to get a tag and title from the Glynn County Tax Commissioner’s office, while PTV owners will need to register with the county Department of Community Development. Both are located in the Harold Pate Building at 1725 Reynolds St. in Brunswick.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Glynn County resident Jeff Kilgore challenged a majority opinion among commissioners that an expansion of the Glynn County Courthouse should be on a list of projects attached to Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2020.
According to Kilgore, Glynn County Superior Court judges do not make sufficient use of the resources at their disposal and may be able to make better use of the space they have in the courthouse by doing so.
Additionally, he said other counties’ judges use the courthouse as well, and that Glynn County should seek contributions from those counties before using SPLOST.
He did not question the need to address significant security deficiencies in courthouse facilities but said such improvements should be decoupled from a courthouse expansion.
In other business, commissioners voted to:
• Approve an alcohol license application for Hotel Simone, 1200 Ocean Boulevard on St. Simons Island.
• Approve an alcohol license application for It’s All About Dough, 600 Sea Island Road on St. Simons Island.
• Approve an alcohol license application for Port City Mall Side, 121 Shoppers Way in Brunswick.
• Defer acceptance of the $297,691 Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic Grant for the Glynn County Police Department from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
• Pass a resolution supporting the inclusion of the Golden Isles’ beaches and shoreline in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
• Designate the week of Oct. 20-26 as Friends of Libraries Week.
The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7.