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Another Go-Round Coming for Proposed Golf Cart Ordinance

Will this spring finally see a set of enforceable rules in Ave Maria for the operation of golf carts? 

A new draft of a proposed county ordinance is set to begin a months-long approval process after discussions between the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District's lawyer and county officials agreed on some changes in language to ensure an ordinance would conform to Florida statutory requirements.

The basic elements of the proposed regulations:

- Anyone operating a golf cart in Ave Maria will need to be at least 15 years old and hold a valid driver's license or learner's permit and must be able to show proof of age. Golf cart owners who permit anyone without a valid driver's license to operate the cart must maintain liability insurance for personal injury and property damage.

- Carts need to have adequate brakes, tires and other safety-related equipment.

- Carts may not be driven on sidewalks except on Ave Maria Blvd. south of the traffic circle at Milano St., Pope John Paul II Blvd. east of the other traffic circle on Milano St., and Anthem Parkway. A detailed map is below and also available in PDF format here.

- The Stewardship Community District must post signs clearly indicating where carts can be driven, and alerting other drivers of the operation of carts.

The next steps for the proposed ordinance are that it will be reviewed by the board of the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District, probably at its next regular meeting April 5. It is then expected to go to Collier County Commissioners for approval to publicize it and allow an opportunity for public comment. Finally, commissioners will vote on it.

Meantime, the Collier County Sheriff's Office has begun taking action when deputies see golf carts that they believe are being driven in an unsafe manner.

The full text of the proposed ordinance is here.

Exhibit-A---Cart-Paths-Designation---11-30-2015

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