Kill Devil Hills commissioners hear presentation on use of golf carts

Published 8:50 am Sunday, April 24, 2022

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Kill Devil Hills commissioners heard a presentation from Ocean Atlantic Rentals general manager Chris Marik urging them to gather information and “get in front” of the problem with people using golf carts unsafely or illegally.

Marik explained the difference between golf carts and low speed vehicles (LSV) at the April 11 regular meeting and the demand or necessity for different types of vehicles. According to Marik, LSVs can go between 20-25 mph and have larger engines than typical golf carts. They also include safety features like safety belts and turn signals, are more expensive by several thousand dollars, and require annual DMV registration. They are legal on state roads under 35 mph.

Marik, who manages four rental locations in the Outer Banks, said he regularly receives requests for golf carts from people living west of the bypass in neighborhoods, emphasizing that he is not suggesting that people use golf carts to cross the bypass. Most people are interested in cruising around their block, visiting neighbors or going to Lowe’s. He passed out a packet with sample legislative language to allow golf carts safely in Kill Devil Hills neighborhoods.

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Of those using golf carts unsafely, Marik said “It’s hundreds. You guys see them coming over the bridge they’re basically coming here using golf carts from another state or maybe North Carolina on our roads assuming that they can do what they can do at home . . .  The problem is not going to go away. People bring their surfboards, their bikes, everything. They assume they can just use things wrongfully that way.”

Commissioners thanked Marik for the presentation, then moved on to new business, quickly amending Ocean Acres wastewater flow allocation, approving the Bay Disposal rate increase, and making board appointments and nominations. The board then discussed an offer from Sand Life, LLC to purchase a small plot of unbuildable land at 3315 North Virginia Dare Trail for $5,400 that the town was gifted in 2001. Sand Life, LLC is located at 3316 North Virginia Dare Trail, across from the property they wish to purchase. Commissioners approved a motion to authorize and direct the town manager to investigate proposal for compliance, negotiate the terms and get the process started with the upset bid process.

Fire Chief Troy Tilley notified the board that Kill Devil Hills was awarded the Dare County Tourism Board grant in the amount of $12,000 that will go toward the annual Independence Day fireworks celebration. “Those guys like us because we didn’t cancel when everyone else did,” joked Mayor Ben Sproul.