Like them or not, golf carts will gain larger prominence in the future


Expect to see more golf carts in use across Viera in the coming years. It’s part of the overall development plan to make the community a place residents can live, work, play and shop with minimal usage of main arterial roads, especially Interstate 95 that parts it down the middle.

Golf cart parking at local shops, extra-wide pedestrian pathways marked for shared usage with golf carts, and clearly marked crossings of main roads will be coming, and are part of proposed changes requested of the Brevard County Commission Aug. 5 by The Viera Company, the residential development arm of town founder A. Duda & Sons. Commissioners voted 4-0, with one commissioner absent, to direct staff to consider and refine the draft changes to the ordinance and bring back a recommendation for approval at a future meeting.

“We want to allow for greater legal usage of golf carts, which will of course please those who use them, and hopefully we can at the same time bring order to golf cart usage overall, which will please those who may be bothered by their use,” said Jay Decator III, corporate counsel for The Viera Company.

Viera resident David M. Grant said he hopes more clear rules on golf cart use will address complaints about their misuse.

The presentation came a day after the community’s official 25th birthday Aug. 4, originally marked with the groundbreaking of the Brevard County School District headquarters, adjacent to the Government Center in Viera where the commission meeting took place, which is next to the Brevard County Court House, all among lands donated by A. Duda & Sons as part of an infrastructure that has redirected the county seat to Viera.

Back then, golf carts were seen as ― just that ― golf carts for shuttling golfers from their garages out onto the links. Families have increasingly used them to shuttle children to school for dropoff and pickup to avoid 30-minute wait times in the car loop. They have also become popular with young adults, which has given the convenience a black eye.

“Kids are standing and hanging all over the carts and traveling at high speeds,” said Charles Tovey, who spoke on this topic and many other others during the open discussion part of the meeting, as he frequently does at county commission meetings.

Jay Decator III, corporate counsel for The Viera Company, said changes to the golf cart use ordinance will better accommodate the growing number of residents who want to use them.

Another resident, David M. Grant, said he supported golf cart use but hoped that changes to the ordinance could also be an opportunity to make good cart conduct clear.

“This can be an opportunity to make golf cart users aware of the laws already in place, as well as any new rules,” Grant said.

Currently in Viera, golf cart use is allowed on streets within a particular residential development, and also in crossings of main artery roads. However, they are not permitted on the main feeder roads to access the main artery road crossings required to get to shopping, schools and other destinations outside of neighborhoods, nor are they allowed on existing sidewalks, Decator said.

“We plan to pay for the widening of existing walkways, and put in future walkways wide enough to accommodate golf cart traffic,” he said of draft ordinance revisions he submitted to the commission. Additional changes include clarification of rules that would limit carts to one rider per official seat, with standing at the back prohibited, and a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

For more information or to give input to the process, call Brevard County Commission District 4 aide Pat Woodard at 321-633-2044.