Golf Carts Approved in The Cove

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Residents in the cove can now legally drive their golf carts on neighborhood streets.

After months of debate, Panama City Commissioners finally approved the new ordinance this morning.

Cove resident Jenna Haligas says, "Everyday. We expect to use it everyday. We go to the yacht club a lot right down the street, and i have kids at holy nativity that go obviously everyday so that's definitely a big part of why we got it."

Panama city became the third in Bay County to legalize the use of golf carts when city commissioners passed the ordinance Tuesday.

Panama City Commissioner Billy Radar says, "I anticipate if we do pass this, it'll be the talk of the town for a while."

Only licensed drivers will now be able to drive on the streets south of 4th Street.

Lights are required after nightfall.

But commissioners still have concerns.

Panama City Commissioner Mike Nichols asks, "Have we or by conversation [Tuesday] determined these are safe? That the streets are safe and they can move about from one location to another?"

City Attorney Nevin Zimmerman responds, "There's not a litmus test on who gives you that information."

But residents say they aren't worried.

Haligas says, "Actually people are more careful with the golf carts, because it kind of reminds you this is a neighborhood."

Cove Resident Bob Zales II agrees, saying, "In my opinion, the cart is safer than what you would have as the alternative."

The reluctant vote was the culmination of a four month debate.

Commissioner Nichols was the only one who voted against the ordinance.