HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council was on the road again at Monday night’s council meeting. Council spent a good portion of the meeting discussing golf carts and food trucks.
Council has been deliberating allowing golf carts on city streets for quite a while and Monday night council members decided they had talked long enough. By a 5-2 vote, council approved an ordinance that outlines golf court inspection procedures and permits the use of golf carts on city streets with speed limits of 25 mph or lower.
The carts didn’t get approved without some opposition.
Council member Nancy Byrge re-iterated her opposition to the golf cart ordinance. She said she was conducting more research on the issue and asked the ordinance be moved to a third reading. “The question becomes, are we going to vote to put 15 miles-per-hour vehicles on our 25 miles-per-hour streets?” she asked.
Council member Andy Hill pointed out that mopeds are allowed to operate on city streets and Councilmen Richard Shaw and Glenn Otto spoke in favor of legalizing golf carts.
In response to a question from Councilman Mark Campbell, who made the motion to approve the ordinance, City Law Director Gerald McDonald explained that under state law golf courts at one time were allowed to operate on the streets of Huber Heights. But a new state law that took effect in January of 2017 required cities to pass ordinances that would allow legal use of carts inside their city limits. The ordinance would once again allow golf carts on the street, but only if they are properly licensed, insured and have all the equipment required by the ordinance.
When the vote was taken, Byrge and Vice Mayor Ed Lyons, who was conducting the meeting in the absence of Mayor Jeff Gore, voted no. Shaw, Otto, Campbell, Hill and Seth Morgan voted yes. Council Member Janell Smith was absent from the meeting.
Council then took up the issue of food trucks.
Council was preparing to approve a motion that would have sent a proposed set of recommendations for the operation of food trucks in Huber Heights to the planning commission for consideration when Morgan expressed his opposition.
Morgan said he felt the portion of the suggested legislation that required licensing for food trucks that go to businesses at the request of the business was too much regulation.
“I think it is an overreach,” he said. “My question is, when are we going to make children license their lemonade stands?”
Morgan said he was in favor for licensing of food trucks that service the public but didn’t think it was necessary for trucks that service businesses.
“I absolutely support getting this done right,” Otto said, “I just definitely want to see it get done because as we sit currently, they’re not allowed to operate at all. Your concerns of over-regulating, well, when we’re not allowing them at all, that’s over-over regulation.”
Food trucks can operate under permits for special occasions, such as festivals, but cannot operate on a regular basis inside the city limits.
Council eventually decided to change its recommendation to the planning board to exclude food trucks that service businesses from being included in the legislation.
The planning commission will be charged with creating the legislation and sending it back to council for approval.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.