Wayzata businesses asked, and the city council has answered.
Local restaurants will, on what Mayor Ken Willcox calls an “experimental” basis, be permitted to use golf carts and similar utility task vehicles for dockside food delivery.
Terri Hummel owns and said the decision will provide additional access from businesses to those enjoying Lake Minnetonka.
“This is a test, and there’s going to be several issues that arise over the balance of the summer,” she said. “If anything along the way isn’t working, we can change—we’re malleable. It’s about how we can make things better and bring more people to Wayzata.”
But not everyone thinks the use of golf carts and similar vehicles for food delivery is a good idea.
Owen Cain has lived in Wayzata for more than three decades and raised questions of liability, safety and storage of the carts when not in use.
“People should get off their boats and walk around downtown Wayzata,” he said. “That’s the reason municipal docks were built in the first place.”
In response to safety concerns, Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold—who helped construct the city’s new ordinance allowing golf carts for commercial use—said safety was his primary focus during drafting of the ordinance.
“I think we’ve crafted something here that’s very restrictive, and I have a comfort level with it seeing No. 1 where people will be able to drive and No. 2 the number of these that will be running around,” Chief Risvold said, adding he anticipated only a “handful” of golf carts being deployed inside the city this summer.
Risvold went on to say the vehicles will only be permitted for commercial uses and have their speed capped at 30 mph. Those operating the vehicles must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license, although the city council can further restrict that requirement if it decides to do so at a later date.
The vehicles will be permitted to use traffic lanes but not operate on sidewalks or other pedestrian areas.
State statute specifically allows the use of golf carts and similar utility task vehicles for such purposes, and the city has taken the added measure of requiring business to outfit their vehicles with reflective triangles, seatbelts and horns.
Additionally, the vehicles will only be permitted to operate from sunrise until sunset.