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. Highway 12.
“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 language:
“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.”