In a meeting rescheduled from Aug. 16, the North Sioux City City Council discussed three ordinances on golf carts, medical marijuana and alcohol.

The council held second reading to Ordinance 2021-14 Golf Carts. This would prohibit the use of golf carts on certain city streets, including River Drive, Derby Lane, Streeter Drive, Sioux Point Road, Military Road, Northshore Drive and any state or federal highway within the city limits of North Sioux City. The only provision is when a person operating a golf cart is crossing the street to access another one. Operators must abide by all traffic laws, be an authorized and licensed driver and have insurance.

Council member Tena Carpenter wasn’t in favor of the ordinance, stating that it would open an entire can of worms. She asked what brought the ordinance about in the first place.

Mayor Patti Teel said that a complaint was received of people driving golf carts on certain streets. Carpenter stated that city hall has also received complaints of children hanging off the back of golf carts.

“I’m just concerned,” Carpenter said. “I don’t feel the need for this. We’re not in a golf, we don’t live on a golf course and we have main streets that they’re not supposed to cross main streets. What’s the point in having the golf carts and allowing and having all the concern about them having a licensed driver driving it. And I think we’re asking for problems by approving this ordinance of kids racing around on golf carts, kids that are not licensed.”

Council member Joan Christiansen stated that it won’t be kids driving them. Carpenter disagreed, asking whether all drivers were going to be pulled over to make sure they were licensed.

“With the way the law goes, it doesn’t make a difference if it’s a car, a go-cart or a golf cart,” North Sioux City Police Chief Rich Headid said. “If they’re driving and are under the age of 14, I’m going to stop them. If they’re not licensed, I’m going to cite them. If they don’t have insurance, they’re going to be cited and the vehicle is going to be towed regardless what motorized vehicle. We’re going to treat everyone the same. No insurance – it gets towed. Period. There’s no difference if it’s a golf cart or a car. The law is the law.”

“I still don’t see why we need to allow golf carts,” Carpenter said. “We have side-by-sides, four wheelers, cars, scooters, mopeds; why do we need golf carts?”

Christiansen disagreed, stating that being on the golf cart is one of the activities her grandson loves. They use it to pick up trash along Westshore Drive.

Carpenter stated she understands that, but there are other options that Christiansen could utilize, such as the gator at the shop.

“I just see this as opening a big can of worms,” Carpenter said. “We’re going to have accidents with it.”

“Well, if it becomes a huge problem, we can rescind the ordinance,” Christiansen countered.

The council approved the ordinance with the addition of Sodrac Drive. Council members Gary Bogenreif, Doug Berg, Kodi Benson, Christiansen, Lonnie Green, Dave Norby and Dan Parks voted in favor and Carpenter against.

The next ordinance up for discussion was the first reading of Ordinance 2021-15 Medical Marijuana. This is to determine the number of establishments, license fees and times of operation. It sets a joint City Council and Planning and Zoning meeting for Sept. 7 to determine whether any zoning changes will be required.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.