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Payne’s Point now a golf cart community

At a meeting this Monday evening, the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors amended local ordinance in order to legalize the operation of golf carts on public roads in the Payne’s Point subdivision.

In order to fulfill statutory requirements, Payne’s Point residents commissioned a field review of the subdivision’s street system and traffic control signage. J. L. Howeth, P.C. Consulting Engineering and Land Surveying completed the evaluation and delivered a finding that streets and signage conform to the criteria associated with safe golf cart operations on those public streets. Posted speed limits may not exceed 25 miles per hour.

As long ago as June 24, 2011, Payne’s Point Property Owners Association officials requested that the Board of Supervisors amend its ordinance in order to permit golf carts to be operated on that subdivision’s streets. The Association’s membership approved the initiative one month earlier.

“I have been working with Mr. David T. Brown, VDOT Northern Neck Residency Administrator, to get the roads designated for the use of golf carts,” Association Vice President George R. Boyt advised.

“Mr. Brown’s staff has posted the speed limit for the roads at 25 miles per hour and has conducted a study/review to determine the suitability of the roads for golf cart operations. He has indicated that the roads meet the criteria and are suitable for operation of golf carts.”

County ordinance requires completion of an independent engineer’s feasibility evaluation prior to award of the local golf cart community designation. Howeth completed the review in February 2012. The evaluation reported roads and signage to be in good condition, with streets having a paved width of 18 feet and two-foot shoulders. The only entrance to the subdivision is State Route 1366/Payne’s Point Drive, where the posted speed limit is the requisite 25 miles per hour.

“The community is entirely residential,” Howeth related. “Residential use of golf carts eliminates the need for vehicular traffic within the community.

“The adjacent subdivision, Westmoreland Shores, currently is permitted the use of golf carts within the community. The approval of golf cart use in the Payne’s Point subdivision would allow residents of each subdivision to easily navigate throughout the streets without vehicular traffic.”

New signage indicating use of golf carts on public streets will be posted in designated locations throughout the Payne’s Point community.

Additional signage advising of the 25 miles per hour speed limit must also be installed.

In addition to the Westmoreland and Potomac Shores subdivisions, the Westmoreland Supervisors previously authorized golf carts to be operated in Ebb Tide Beach. The Town of Colonial Beach adopted its own set of golf cart regulations.

In Westmoreland County, golf cart vehicles operated on approved public roads or rights-of-way must display a slow-moving vehicle emblem as required by Virginia statute. A driver’s license is needed to operate a golf cart on a designated road and golf carts can only be operated on public roads or rights-of-way between sunrise and sunset.

Golf cart propulsion systems must not be modified to facilitate greater speed and operators must obey traffic laws and safety standards. The carts must be equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, mirrors and seat belts and the vehicles have to be inspected by a licensed dealer once a year.

Westmoreland ordinance defines a golf cart as “any three or four wheeled electric or gas powered cart that is sold as a ‘golf cart.’ A golf cart does not include ‘all terrain vehicles,’ ‘farm vehicle(s)’ or ‘go-carts’ as defined by Virginia Code.”

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