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Marysville to consider allowing off-road vehicles and golf carts on city streets

By Jim Bloch

The Marysville City Council will soon discuss the possibility of allowing off-road vehicles and golf carts on city streets.

Council member Dave Barber raised the issue at the behest of a resident at the council’s regular meeting on April 28.

“Apparently, the county passed an ordinance that said these vehicles (ORVs) can be used on county roads,” said Barber.

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City Manager Randy Fernandez addressed the issued at the May 11 council meeting.

“At the last meeting, councilman Dave Barber brought up off-road vehicles,” said Fernandez. “I just want council to know that I immediately contacted our legal counsel about it. I also heard that Marine City had an ordinance — I think that’s what councilman Barber said at the last meeting. I got a copy of the ordinance already. I talked to Tom Konik about it.”

Konik is the director of public safety in Marysville.

“We’re nowhere near bringing this to council and having a discussion right now,” said Fernandez. “Were trying to get through the budget and some other things. But I wanted council to know that we are on top of it, gathering information.”

Fernandez said the issue will likely be addressed in a future goal-setting session, perhaps in June.

“I will send you all of the Marine City language, which also includes golf carts, so we can start thinking about it,” said Fernandez.

The Marysville City Council decided in a December 2018 goal session not to allow golf carts to operate on city streets even though Michigan state law allows a city or village with a population below 30,000 to pass a resolution permitting it. Konik and City Attorney Gary Fletcher recommended prohibiting carts on local streets.

Mayor Wayne Pyden recommended also tackling the golf cart issue again.

Marine City adopted its ordinance “Golf Carts and Off-Road Vehicles” in November of last year.

Among other things, the ordinance permits the operation of golf carts and ORVs on city streets as long as the driver is at least 16 years old and has a driver’s license. Golf carts must have a red reflector on the rear of the golf cart visible from 500 feet; ORVs must have their head and taillights on at all times. All relevant state traffic laws must be obeyed. The cart or ORV must be driven as “near to the right side of the street as practicable.” The carts and ORV must not be driven on state trunk lines except to cross them. Golf carts may not be driven in excess of 15 mph and ORVs in excess of 25 mph; neither may driven on roads with speed limits higher than 35 mph. Both are allowed on city streets only in daylight — a half-hour past sunrise until a half-hour before sunset. Golf carts may not be used during snowy or icy conditions.

Violations of the ordinance are considered municipal civil infractions and are punishable by fines not exceeding $500, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both.

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