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Golf Cart and Fishing Ordinances, Budget, Process for Electing Supervisor on Packed AMSCD Agenda

The Ave Maria Stewardship Community District will consider a draft county ordinance Tuesday that, if enacted by county commissioners, would codify a set of regulations on the use of golf carts within the town of Ave Maria.

The proposed ordinance incorporates recommendations that generated significant discussion when they were made by a consultant at the last AMSCD meeting. The main regulations being proposed:

- Golf cart drivers must be at least 15 years old and hold a valid driver's license or learner's permit;

- Carts must be registered with the AMSCD, which shall conduct periodic inspections.

- Owners must purchase and maintain liability insurance covering personal injury and any type of damage to property.

- Carts may be driven on roads and streets in Ave Maria except on Ave Maria Blvd., Anthem Parkway and Pop John Paul II Blvd. outside the town center. Carts may also be driven on sidewalks that are at least eight feet wide.

- The AMSCD would need to specifically approve operation of golf carts after sunset, and any golf carts driven at night must have appropriate equipment.

If the supervisors approve the ordinance, it will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners, where it would be subject to further public discussion. Click here for the text (PDF) of the proposed ordinance as well as the main part of the report prepared for the AMSCD board.

The supervisors also will consider two options on restricting fishing in town lakes – one option that bans fishing entirely and another that permits catch-and-release fishing from "proper access points." Click here for the text (PDF) of the two proposals.

Also up for a vote at the meeting is approval of next year's budget that was previously discussed. Assessments on property owners in Ave Maria are unchanged.

The board also has scheduled a discussion on the process by which residents might directly elect one or more members of the board. All members currently are appointed by the developers, including the one resident on the board, Tom DiFlorio.

Robb Klucik, an attorney and resident of Ave Maria, is spearheading the move at this time to begin the process which would start by securing a petition signed by at least ten percent of the "qualified electors" in town, who must be Ave Maria homeowners registered to vote in the local precinct. A copy of Mr. Klucik's summary of the procedure is available here.

"Happily, it seems most residents would be hard-pressed to point to anything all that controversial or problematic about the way the AMSCD has been run by the board of supervisors," Mr. Klucik said. "Now, after eight years with homeowners living in the town, it simply makes sense that these resident homeowners have some independent representation on the board by a popularly elected leader who remains accountable to voters."

The board meeting, which is open to the public, is at 9 a.m. at the offices of the Ave Maria Master Association in the town center. The full agenda can be downloaded by clicking here.

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