Blue Ash Council Moves Towards Legalizing “Golf Carts” on Roads, other business

Blue Ash Council Moves Towards Legalizing “Golf Carts” on Roads, other business

In the May 13 meeting of the Blue Ash City Council, members moved to direct city staff to draft legislation that, if passed, would allow “low-speed” and “under-speed” vehicles on city roads with speed limits of 35 MPH or lower. Additionally, they set a hearing on a request to allow a mixed use development on the site of the former P&G east campus, moved forward the HAM Plainfield Roundabout, and other routine business. Read on for details.

A “street legal” golf cart similar to ones that would be allowed on Blue Ash streets under legislation city council has asked be drafted. Learn more about this cart online.

“Golf” Carts on Public Roads

In apparent response to a request made by Bob Wittenberg at the April 8th council meeting, Mayor Marc Sirkin moved to direct city staff to draft legislation that would allow “low-speed” and “under-speed” vehicles on roads in the City of Blue Ash with speed limits set at 35 miles per hour or less.

In the discussion about this motion, the mayor noted that this would apply to what many people would recognize as golf carts that would be equipped with lights, seatbelts, and other safety equipment that would make them road legal under the Ohio Revised Code. He reported that he had visited Cincy Custom Carts in Montgomery where he found that a vehicle meeting these requirements could be purchased for around $9000. He explained that these vehicles had to have a maximum speed of 25 MPH or less. If approved, individual vehicles would need to be inspected by the Blue Ash Police Department.

Members discussed limiting vehicles to roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less but it was noted that such a requirement would prevent these from accessing Summit Park. The discussion made clear that these vehicles would be treated in all other ways as any other car, would not be permitted to drive across fields or on sidewalks, and would be required to park just as any car would. Though most would recognize these vehicles as “golf” carts, they would not be allowed on the Blue Ash Golf Course.

Listen to the full discussion on the City of Blue Ash Youtube page’s video of the meeting.

Council Approves Construction Contract for HAM Plainfield Roundabout

City Council voted to award an $8.8 million contract to R.B. Jergens Contractors, Inc to construct the HAM Plainfield Roundabout. More information about the project can be found on the city website. The Ohio Department of Transportation website still shows the project on track to begin construction on July 1. This work is partially paid for by the state or federal government because the intersection of Hunt and Plainfiled Roads is one of the most dangerous/crash prone in Ohio.

Council Approves Contract for Design Services for Towne Square Redevelopment

Council also passed legislation approving an approximately $500,000 contract to BHDP Architecture and Human Nature, Inc. to create a detailed design for the Towne Square Redevelopment. City Manager Mark Waltz said that preliminary designs would be brought in front of council before the design was finalized. The project was subject of extensive public input earlier this year. Learn more about that process and see the results on the city website.

Public Hearing Set for Consideration of Mixed Use Development on Site of Former P&G East Campus

Council set a public hearing for July 8, at 7:05 PM to consider approval of a Concept Planned Unit Development for a 48.9 acre mixed use development on the former east campus of the P&G site in the Blue Ash North Zoning District. This proposal was considered by the Planning Commission on May 6 and was denied. In their memo to council, city staff stated, “The proposed site includes four industrial buildings on the east side of the property and areas along the Reed Hartman Highway frontage where the specific uses are undefined, but that would be either commercial or mixed-use residential. A proposed new public road would connect Grooms Road and Reed Hartman Highway.”

More details about the proposal will be found on the Planning Commission section of the city website after minutes from the May 6th meeting are approved during their next meeting expected on June 3.

screen shot of City of Blue Ash Council Meeting on YouTube
A screen shot from the recording of the City Council meeting from the Blue Ash YouTube channel.

Council Meetings Back on YouTube

In response to a unanimous motion from the council, a regular city council meeting was live streamed on the city’s YouTube page for the first time. Before the pandemic efforts by some members to make videos available were voted down by a majority of council. During the pandemic, when the council was forced to meet through zoom meetings, the videos were livestreamed to meet public meeting requirements.

8 Replies to “Blue Ash Council Moves Towards Legalizing “Golf Carts” on Roads, other business

  • Ann Scranton

    By Ann Scranton

    Reply

    I couldn’t believe this when I heard it discussed at council. Are we really going to put vehicles that go 10 mph less than posted speed limits on heavily traveled roads around Summit Park? What kind of traffic nightmare is that going to cause on Farmer’s market nights and during events. Just drive your car and leave your toys at home. Blue Ash is the 2nd largest employment center in Hamilton County, not a sleepy beach or lake resort community with one main roadway. We don’t even have sidewalks in enough areas of town to keep people from being hit crossing roadways.

    • Ed Dadosky

      By Ed Dadosky

      Reply

      I love the idea of street legal golf carts in BA. I am assuming that the ‘golf cart’-type vehicles are those (e.g. Polaris Rangers) that can easily go 30-40 mph; the only Blue Ash street I can think of where they could be an issue is Reed Hartman Highway (really more like a boulevard than a highway) and I don’t think people would notice if the vehicles kept right – maybe they will be prohibited on RHH which would be ok considering Kenwood and Plainfield Roads run parallel for a significant distance.

      If the discussion really is reference golf course-type golf carts (I do not believe this to be the case), I am 100% against <10mph golf carts touring BA streets.

      • Brian Gath

        By Brian Gath

        Reply

        The vehicles under consideration would have a maximum speed of 25 mph or lower and could only be approved for roads up to and including 35 mph, but it could be lower. State law prohibits them on roads like Reed Hartman Highway.

  • Jill Isaacson

    By Jill Isaacson

    Reply

    Will sidewalks or a bicycle lane be considered on Reed Hartman north of Cornell?
    It would be wonderful to bicycle from Fields Ertel to Cornell.

    • Brian Gath

      By Brian Gath

      Reply

      This isn’t part of the discussion right now. If this is something you’d like to see, I encourage you to comment at the next council meeting.

  • Gary Scarr

    By Gary Scarr

    Reply

    Electric vehicles are the future and need to be welcomed, but, like with the US Mail, there is no reason that we need allow “slow” EV’s on public roads. Using golf carts within the proposed development is fine, but allowing slow vehicles on e.g. Reed Hartmann or Glendale-Milford would be insane. If they need to Access Summit Park they need regular EV cars, or the golf carts need to be souped up like “normal” mail delivery vehicles. Or there needs ro be some alternate route they are confined to along back streets(with signage warning where they are/are not allowed to proceed/turn/cross just like pedestrians.Perhaps they need “cart lanes” that could double as cycle lanes?

  • N. Bates

    By N. Bates

    Reply

    I hope Blue Ash City Council isn’t approving more trees to be cut down anywhere. I am disappointed in how so many trees have been removed to make room for commercial buildings, residences and even Summit Park.

    • Brian Gath

      By Brian Gath

      Reply

      I love trees. It is said that the best day to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is today!

      I’m not aware that the city has any authority over trees. I do know that other cities, like Dublin, have tree ordinances that require developers replace trees removed by developers (not residents) with new trees. It doesn’t make up, right away, for the loss of a mature tree but it often results in several new trees where there had only been one.

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