Local golf cart ordinance rescinded

Published 10:09 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tryon decides to let state regulate golf carts beginning Jan. 1

TRYON—Anyone with a golf cart permit in the Town of Tryon has until Jan. 1 to get it registered with the state in order to drive on main roads. 

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday and approved rescinding its golf cart ordinance effective Jan. 1, 2020. 

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Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood asked council to repeal the ordinance, saying current permit holders can register with the state. 

“I’d like to see us repeal our ordinance where we do the registering and inspections,” Arrowood said. 

He said by registering with the state, golf carts would be a legal vehicle to drive on roads 35 mph and under. Arrowood said he thinks the town has two or three golf carts registered with the town. 

Town manager Zach Ollis said repealing the ordinance would free up some confusion amongst the town’s current ordinance. 

Commissioner Crys Armbrust asked what the cost of registering with the state is versus registering with the town. Arrowood said he is not sure of the cost of the state registration, but the town’s fees are $25 and $50 for the permit and renewals. 

The town created a local golf cart ordinance in 2013 so people could ride their golf carts from residential areas downtown. 

The town’s ordinance was more restrictive than the state’s laws on golf carts. As long as the golf cart meets certain criteria, a person can register the golf cart with the state and drive on roads as long as the speed limit does not exceed 35 mph. 

Polk County has a local ordinance allowing golf carts on certain roads and the City of Saluda also has a local golf cart ordinance. 

Commissioner Bill Crowell said by going with the state registration, people could come off Carolina Drive and come downtown to eat dinner. Most roads in Tryon are below 35 mph, with Trade Street downtown being 20 mph. 

Tryon attorney William Morgan said the town could rescind the ordinance immediately and make it effective Jan. 1, 2020. 

“This just puts the state in control of registering,” Ollis said. “And you are giving them months to get ready for it.” 

Council unanimously rescinded the golf cart ordinance.