The Canton City Council on Thursday heard a request to create a personal transportation vehicle district at River Green in Canton, which would set rules and regulations for the use of golf carts in the community.

Community Development Director Ken Patton said at the meeting that the River Green Homeowners Association submitted a request to create a personal transportation vehicle district. A representative from River Green added that the district and the city’s ordinance would help deal with issues in that community pertaining to traffic violations and underage driving of golf carts, ATVs, and similar vehicles.

Many residents of River Green have voiced their concerns about underage drivers without a license, carts carrying more passengers than permitted, and overall reckless driving. The River Green HOA is looking to adopt the city ordinance on personal transportation vehicles, which would put rules and regulations in place to help ease these concerns.

Rules in the city’s ordinance that pertain to concerns from residents include the enforcement that an operator must have a valid driver’s license or permit in Georgia, and the operation of the vehicle has to meet the requirements of that license or permit. Drivers with a permit must have a person 18 or older with a license in the vehicle with them.

The streets that are proposed to be included in the district would be River Green Avenue, River Bend Way, and connected streets, with certain streets excluded such as Pinnacle Place, Victoria Gardens, and Franklin Park, and connected streets.

Many residents sent in emails to city staff voicing their support or opposition. Residents voicing support for the district proposal said they believed that the ordinance could help resolve many of the safety issues that come with golf carts. Overall, residents who are opposed to the district are concerned that the current issues the community has with such vehicles and carts will not get any better because the Canton Police Department would not be able to enforce the rules consistently.

Canton Police Chief Stephen Merrifield said at the council meeting that the ordinance is clear to follow for the officers, and enforcement by Canton police wouldn’t be too big of an issue. However, he added that a car could not be in the neighborhood all the time. Merrifield stressed that it would be important for residents to call police with any issues, and officers will be enforcing this ordinance, regardless if the district is approved or not.

The council will vote on the request at its next meeting on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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