City Council agrees to revisit golf cart proposal

Former Mayor Burrell Stein

The Wayland City Council Monday night agreed to revisit the question of an ordinance permitting use of golf carts and sider-by-side within the city limits.

The action followed additional prodding by former Mayor Burrell Stein, who had suggested the move at the council’s July 18 meeting. Providing support for the idea again was citizen Amy DeShaw.

Stein noted the council turned down such a proposal two years ago, but it was hazy whether the issue had been taken up by the Public Safety Committee. He added that the issue also was surrounded by the haziness in 2020 of having to meet via Zoom on the Internet.

“So I think getting the (necessary) information could have been quite a challenge,” he said.

Stein said the council decided in September of that year by consensus not to proceed with the matter and it was dropped.

He presented sample ordinances governing golf carts crafted by the cities of Allegan and South Haven and noted there is a similar ordinance county-wide for off-road vehicles.

DeShaw went even further, producing a statement from South Haven Police Chief Natalie Thompson, noting there haven’t been any significant safety or nuisance issues since adopting an ordinance there in the spring of 2021.

DeShaw also noted that during summer months South Haven’s population increases because of tourists while Wayland’s is stead at about 4,500.

Stein explained that the Allegan County ordinance does not permit golf carts and like vehicles on main thoroughfares such as Main and Superior streets, but he said such prohibitions would severely limit access to places like gas stations and Harding’s Market. He added that the carts help older citizens get around town without any speed hazards.

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Was told by Police Chief Mark Garnsey that the second annual Public Safety Block Party will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the City Park.

• Adopted an ordinance allowing Great Lake Energy use of right of ways to install Internet service.

• Was told by Clerk LeAnn Claussen that the city received 350 mail-in ballots for the Aug. 2 primary and she expects an even larger number for the Nov. 8 general election.

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