Citing safety, Aurora City Council declines to allow golf carts on Aurora streets

By Steve Chapman

The Aurora City Council declined, during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23, to allow residents to drive golf carts on city streets. The issue had been put on the agenda after two Aurora residents requested permission to do so during the meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Currently, Aurora residents are not allowed to drive golf carts on city streets because there is no city ordinance permitting their use.
According to unofficial minutes from the Oct. 23 meeting, City Manager Jon Holmes stated he felt the golf carts should not be allowed as it would put an undue burden on the Aurora Police Department. He stated other municipalities which had permitted golf carts in the past had seen a number of accidents caused by people who used them recklessly, resulting in the city governments imposing new regulations on their use. This in turn, burdened the police departments with enforcing those regulations. Holmes also stated he felt the Aurora Police Department already had enough work to do.
Chairman ProTem Doyle Ferguson asked if the prohibition on golf carts also applied to wheelchairs, as he’d seen them used by people going to pharmacies and grocery stores. Richard Witthuhn, chief of police, stated that it is an illegal form of transportation, but officers are able to use their own discretion when they see someone using a wheelchair for transportation; he also said officers often provide assistance to people in wheelchairs.
During the discussion, Holmes also pointed out OATS, a public transportation service, can provide assistance to those in need.
With both Holmes and Witthuhn advising against allowing golf carts to be used as transportation in the city, the council voted not to make any changes to city ordinances that would permit golf carts to be driven in the city. Councilman Don McWade stated the vote was not meant to be against anyone, but rather what the council felt was best for the whole community.
In the public comments portion of the meeting, Aurora resident Kenneth Howell spoke to the council about a visit he’d received from Animal Control over two pot-bellied pigs he is keeping as pets. He stated when he’d moved into his home a year earlier, he’d been told the property was zoned for agriculture. Planning and Zoning Building Director Trent White told the council the property is zoned M-2 and not for agriculture.
Howell requested a permit to have his pigs remain with him. Councilman McWade proposed the matter be put on the agenda for future discussion.
Linda Barton also addressed the council about the traffic at the intersection of Highland and Wolf Road; she asked if there was any way to slow down or stop the traffic there, as there is a higher volume of traffic there than normal.
Holmes suggested a four-way traffic stop might help the problem. However, McWade stated he felt a four-way stop wouldn’t help the situation and suggested instead posting signage indicating it is a dangerous intersection. Holmes said if that was what the council wanted, it would be done.  


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