Jacksonville City Council passes bill allowing golf carts in Duval County’s portion of Nocatee

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Golf carts may now be operated on the street across all Nocatee neighborhoods following the Jacksonville City Council’s unanimous approval of a bill last week allowing the vehicles within Duval County’s portion of the community.

“This bill really was a housekeeping bill more than anything,” said Councilman Danny Becton of District 11, who sponsored the bill. “This policy already existed within the St. Johns County part of the community.”

Roadways throughout the St. Johns County portion of Nocatee have long been designated as appropriate for golf carts, but that hasn’t been the case for Duval County until now. Becton said by default city roads do not allow golf carts to be vehicles. Therefore, the bill was needed to ensure the Duval County portion is compliant in joining the rest of Nocatee as a golf cart community.

Construction plans for cart paths have already been submitted to the city and just require final approval. Once that happens, Nocatee Community Manager David Ray said, construction can begin immediately. Work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

“Our residents love the ability to travel around the community in their electric vehicles,” Ray said. “Alternative transportation, including pedestrian walkways, bike paths and cart paths, are an important part of the Nocatee lifestyle.”

Ray noted that pathways in both counties will be connected, with all leading to the community’s amenities and shops in the Nocatee Town Center. Approximately 85 percent of Nocatee sits inside St. Johns County, he added, while the remaining 15 percent of neighborhoods on the northwest side of the development is located in Duval County.

The bill requires golf cart drivers to be at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. Drivers can operate the vehicles with a learner’s permit, said Ray, but they must be accompanied by a licensed driver. According to the bill, if the golf carts are driven at night, they must be equipped with headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals. Golf carts without these features can only be operated during the day.

“With the passing of this ordinance, all of Nocatee is now an ‘Electric Vehicle’ approved community,” said Ray. “The efficient and eco-friendly transportation is positive for the community and the city."

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