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Golf carts coming to city streets?

Council ponders change to rules

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 6:20 p.m. CDT

MORRISON – Morrison resident John Kuehl has a golf cart and an off-road recreational vehicle that, he says, could be used for transportation in the city.

The problem: They’re not allowed under city code.

For the past few months, Kuehl of Spencer’s Automotive has been trying to change that, asking the city to enact an ordinance that permits street-legal golf carts and off-road recreational vehicles.

“It would be more convenient, and it’s a cheaper way to travel because of gas prices,” Kuehl said.

More and more towns, he noted, are allowing such vehicles, especially because many of them are lowering their speed limits on residential streets. 

In response to Kuehl’s request, the city formed a committee to consider the issue. Today, the City Council will look at a proposed ordinance to allow such vehicles as long as they meet certain requirements, such as having brake lights, turn signals and rearview mirrors.

Operators must have driver’s licenses and follow child restraint laws. They can drive them only during daylight hours and on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less.

Aldermen are expected to discuss the proposal, but no action will be taken until the next City Council meeting, Mayor Everett Pannier said.

Pannier said he doesn’t see a problem with allowing such vehicles on streets.

Alderman Marti Wood said she favored looking into the issue.

“It doesn’t hurt to check it out. It could give people an option,” she said. “We’ll see if it is feasible.”

Also at today’s council meeting, members are expected to vote on a change to the city’s sign ordinance that would allow the Planning and Zoning Board to consider requests for signage.

As it is, the council votes on such proposals but cannot act on requests for variances to the city’s sign ordinance. Under the law, only the planning and zoning panel can do that, Pannier said.

With planning and zoning, “it’ll make it easier to take care of requests for signage,” the mayor said.

To attend

The Morrison City Council will meet at 7 tonight in the Whiteside County Board chambers in the County Courthouse, 400 N. Cherry St.

The council will consider a change to its sign ordinance and discuss allowing golf carts on streets.

For an agenda for this meeting, minutes from past meetings, and more information, go to www.morrisonil.org or call 815-772-7657.

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