Council moves closer to approving use of OFV, golf carts

Second reading approved Monday night

Off-road vehicles, known as side-by-sides, and golf carts may soon be able to travel portions of Webster City streets if the City Council of Webster City approves the third reading of the new ordinance.

The council approved the second reading Monday night during its regular session. A third reading would be required before the ordinance could be adopted into the city code.

If approved, off-road vehicles with head and tail lights, brakes and other safety equipment will be allowed to travel Webster City streets, with the exception of Superior Street and Second Street from Superior to Prospect Street. The vehicles would be able to cross each of the streets at a 90-degree angle. The ORV must come to complete stops and yield to all oncoming traffic and pedestrians, according to the proposed ordinance.

The vehicles would not be allowed to operate on any of the public trails, except where designated.

While the draft of the measure had required vehicles to use a bicycle flag and a slow-moving vehicle sign, City Council members agreed that those safety items were unnecessary for the off-road vehicles.

The council also asked that restrictions on hours of operation for OFV be removed. The ordinance had stated that ORV would not be able to operate between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. That section will be deleted from the final draft.

Those operating the vehicles must be 18 years of age, possess a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.

For golf carts, the proposed ordinance would require operational brakes, a bicycle flag and slow-moving vehicle sign. Golf carts could operate between sunrise and sunset within the city, but would be prohibited from Second Street from the east corporate limits to Overpass Drive, James Street from the western corporate limits to Overpass Drive; Overpass Drive; Superior Street from Second Street to the southern corporate limits; and White Fox Drive between Second St. and the northern corporate limits. Golf carts would, however, be able to cross those streets after coming to a complete stop and yielding to all on-coming traffic and pedestrians.

The council also discussed the permit fees and fines for violations to the proposed ordinance for ORV and golf carts.

The consensus from the council was for a $25 permit fee on an annual basis. Fines will be $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second and $150 for the third violation. The violations would also carry court costs and a usage restriction for certain time period, depending upon the violation.

City Attorney Zach Chizek who has been working on the ordinance, said the permits would need to be renewed each year, as a different color sticker would be required, much like with auto tag renewals. Once the measure is approved and the ordinance adopted, Chizek said the city would issue a sticker and a form which would need to be carried whenever operating the ORV or golf carts.

The final reading of the ordinance will occur at the next council meeting on Nov. 2.


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