At Monday’s Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC)
meeting, a public hearing was set for August 20 to obtain community feedback on
a proposal to allow golf carts in Buxton village.
The proposal, which was first introduced by Hatteras Island
Commissioner Danny Couch during the July 16 BOC meeting, would allow golf carts
on a number of state-maintained Buxton roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or
less. However, the new guidelines would not include allowing golf carts on N.C.
“I think it’s the collective opinion of myself and the
sheriff based on my conversations with him that… having golf carts in Buxton on
Highway 12 is probably not the best idea from a public safety standpoint,” said
Planning Director Donna Creef at the August 6 meeting.
After the commissioners decided to study the idea further at
the July meeting, Creef and the Planning Department did intricate research on
the proposal by identifying the Buxton roads that meet the criteria, examining
the amount of traffic on these roads, and determining the average speed limits.
“Most of the roads [in the proposal] I would describe as
subdivision roads,” said Creef. “A lot are in the Hatteras Pines subdivision.”
The research found that areas like Buxton Back Road could be
conducive to golf carts, with an average travelling speed of 28 mph, (and a 25
mph speed limit.)
“Basically, we’re looking at everything but Highway 12,”
said Couch. “I think that the fact that we are keeping them off of Highway 12
is the right thing to do.”
The proposed revision to the current rules on “Golf Carts on Streets and Roads in Specified
Areas of Unincorporated Dare County” entails adding the following suggested
“Golf carts may be operated
in Buxton Village on the following streets where the speed limit is 35 mph or
less: Old Lighthouse Road; Cape Point Way, Diamond Shoals Drive, Buxton Back
Road, Dippin Vat Road, Cross Way Road, Lost Tree Trail, Rocky Rollinson Rd,
Webb Lane, Middle Ridge Trail, Crooked Ridge Trail, and Light Plant Road.”
This proposed language is in addition to existing and more
generalized statues for Unincorporated Dare County. This includes an age
restriction where no person under the age of 16 may operate a golf cart on the
streets of a specified area, and a rule that golf carts must be operated during
specified hours – (generally from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. in the summer months.)
The public hearing will take place in conjunction with the
August 20 Board of Commissioners meeting at 5 p.m. in Manteo, and the public
can either provide comments in person at the meeting, or via a live feed from
the Fessenden Center in Buxton.
“This is not a snap decision,” said Commissioner Couch, “and
we have to hear what the public says before we can move forward.”