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County staff approves golf cart ordinance

March 20, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Lee County staff has approved the proposed Pine Island golf cart ordinance, authorizing the use of golf carts on most of Pine Island streets. The finding was handed down Tuesday, March 12.

A few changes that Lee County staff made to the ordinance include golf carts not being permitted in Matlacha on the bike, or shared use, path. Other changed include all golf cart operators must have a driver's license and they can only be operated during daylight hours.

"My personal view is that all of the changes made by the county staff were not only reasonable, but the only available options for them under federal regulations, Florida law, and sound public policy," said Phil Buchanan, who spent countless hours writing the proposal. "I recommend that all Pine Islanders endorse the ordinance as modified and urge the county commissioners to approve it."

Everything else proposed and approved by the citizens of Pine Island at the Greater Pine Island Civic Association town hall meetings will remain the same.

Buchanan said golf carts will be allowed in the downtown areas of St. James City and Bokeelia, as well as all of the side streets off Stringfellow Road - if the proposal receives final approval from Lee County Commissioners.

"They will not be permitted on Pine Island Road east of Stringfellow Road or on Stringfellow Road between the Jug Creek Bridge, in Bokeelia, and St. Jude Boulevard, in St. James City," he said.

With the approval by the citizens and Lee County staff, the golf cart ordinance will now go the county commission in a two-step process.

The first step consists of the commissioners scheduling a public hearing, which Buchanan believes will occur in late March or early April.

"All Pine Islanders with views on this subject should attend the public hearing, which will be held at the courthouse in Fort Myers," Buchanan said.

He said if the county commissioners approve the ordinance, golf carts could be legal on Pine Island streets by sometime next month.



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