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AMSCD to Consider Golf Cart Regulations

golf-200Discussions that have gone on for years about regulation of golf carts in the town of Ave Maria may finally be on the road to resolution.

Golf carts are a way of life in Ave Maria, but there have been long-standing concerns about their safe operation. Efforts to regulate golf carts, and enforce traffic laws, have been stalled because of jurisdictional matters. The State of Florida has one set of rules, the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District (AMSCD) owns all the roads in town, Collier County has authority to approve regulations and the Collier County Sheriff's Office enforces the laws.

To sort all this out, the AMSCD hired a consulting firm, Trebilcock Consulting of Naples, to analyze traffic flows in the town, examine safety considerations, discuss possible regulations with the county and recommend rules and regulations for who can operate a golf cart in town, how they should be equipped, hours when operation is permitted and where they can be driven.

Based on its analysis and discussions with Collier Couty Transportation staff, the consultants' recommendations which will be considered by the AMSCD at its Oct. 6 meeting include:

- Anyone operating a golf cart in Ave Maria must possess a valid driver's license or learner's permit, and must carry this while operating the golf cart. This effectively sets the minimum age for golf cart operation at 15, even though Florida statutes have a minimum age of 14.

- Golf carts would be prohibited on the roadway on Ave Maria Blvd., Pope John Paul II Blvd. and Anthem Parkway, although carts would be permitted on walkways at least eight feet wide alongside those streets.

- Golf carts may be driven only from sunrise to sunset unless the AMSCD decides otherwise, in which case carts driven from sunset to sunrise must have headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield.

- The AMSCD should conduct annual inspections of golf carts to ensure they have appropriate equipment, and a handbook should be issued detailing all of the rules, regulations and requirements for safe operation.

The recommendations will be discussed at the AMSCD meeting that begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the offices of the Ave Maria Master Association in the town center. Meetings are open to the public. The full agenda is below, and the golf cart proposals can be downloaded in PDF form by clicking here.

Ave Maria Master Association (office/fitness center)
5076 Annunciation Circle, Suite 103
Ave Maria, Florida 34142

REGULAR BOARD MEETING
October 6, 2015
9:00 a.m.

A. Call to Order
B. Pledge of Allegiance
C. Proof of Publication
D. Establish Quorum
E. Additions or Deletions to Agenda
F. Comments from the Public for Items Not on the Agenda
G. Approval of Minutes
   1. August 4, 2015 Regular Board Meeting & Public Hearing Minutes
H. Old Business
   1. Consider Approval of Golf Carts Traffic Study
     • Audience Comment
I. New Business
   1. Consider Approval of First Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement Reservation of Sufficient
       Road Public Facilities
     • Audience Comment
   2. Consider Approval of Master Irrigation Utility Operating Agreement
     • Audience Comment
   3. Discussion Regarding Four Way Stop Request
     • Audience Comment
J. Administrative Matters
   1. Legal Report
   2. Engineer Report
   3. Manager's Report
K. Board Members Comments
L. Adjourn

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