Northside Golf Cart Path
The Concept of a Golf Cart Path being built on the Northside of SR 674 started: with June Smith of the
Knolls, in Kings Point, Sun City Center starting a petition and eventually ending up with over 2,600 signatures.
After the Annual Golf Cart Inspection held in March 1997; I was talking to Sheriff's Deputy Joe Burt.
He asked me if I knew of the petition to get a Golf Cart Path to Wal-Mart; I said no, but I would find out, and see what it
is all about.
June Smith came to my home and stated: Wouldn't it be nice to have a golf cart path to Wal-Mart! I said
what is the purpose of the path? I knew that in order for the County Commissioners to take any action, we would have to prove
a necessary purpose for the path.
I said I would not sign her petition until I could prove the path would serve a necessary purpose.
I and my wife then set out to prove why the path was needed: We found out there were over 32 Medical
Doctors and Clinics inaccessible to Golf Carts west of South Bay Hospital!
Since the speed limit of all roads west of South Bay Hospital were 35 MPH; it was, and still is, not
legal for golf carts to operate on these roads.
However, the petition of Mrs Smith, on January 1998, was submitted to Hillsborough County Commissioner
Dottie Berger; and we met with Commissioner Berger and the County Public Works Department many times to find out the
best route to take, before taking it to the Board of County Commissioners.
When it was taken to Board of County Commissioners Meeting I, Eugene McElroy, was the spokesman
for the Petitioners.
I asked for the residents of Sun City Center, many of whom only own a Golf Cart, in order
for them to be able to maintain their dignity and independence, by being able to access the the Doctor or Clinic of their
choice in their Golf Cart, without having to depend on a friend or neighbor to take them.
Or heaven forbid, trying to make a medical appointment, on time, using Public Transportation!
That the Concept for a Golf Cart Path to be built in front of South Bay Hospital, on
the SR 674 right of way, then proceed on an "off roadway" Golf Cart Path along Upper Creek Drive and that Public Works
Department design the most feasible route and method for funding the project.
The Board of County Commissioners approved the Concept and asked the Public Works Director Mr. Bernardo
Garcia to come back at a later date and Meeting of the Board with a plan and method of funding.
I got a telephone call from Del Schulz, Chairman of the Greater Sun City Center Golf Cart Safety
& Inspection Committee: He wanted to know what was going on since he was the Chairman of the Golf Cart Committee. I filled
him in on all the information and asked him to help!
Mr. Richard (Dick) Winchester from Freedm Plaza, also called me and asked if he could help, and suggested
that Mr. Will Michaels, Exective Director of Freedom Plaza be included.
Mr. Michaels, set-up a Meeting at Freedom Plaza. At the meeting, we all agreed that we should
have a contact person to be the spokeman for all matters pertaining to the "Golf Cart Path Project.) Mr. Del Schulz
From then on. all contacts were made by Del Schulz. Del did an outstanding job, especially with his
contacts with Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas!
There was opposition, from time to time, as to building the path in 1 or 2 phases, but after many puplic
meetings by the County Public Works Department; and more Board of County Commissioners Meetings:
It was agreed to build the whole path in 1 phase! South Bay Hospital agreed to give a perpetural right-of-way
for golf carts to use the entrance & exit to the Hospital to link to the golf cart path on SR 674.
Then the golf cart path would run parallel, off roadway, on Upper Creek Drive & connect to
the path, already built, on the cypress creek bridge; Then connect to the existing golf cart path of Cypress Village.
At the Cortaro Drive intersection, the path would cross Upper Creek Drive, then continue, running
parallel, off roadway, on Cortaro Drive, and eventually end at Wal-Mart.
Everything worked out for the best and at the final Meeting of the Board of County Commissioners Greater
Sun City Center was well represented.
We came by the Bus Loads! Kings Point had two, 49 passenger Buses, The Sun City Center Community Association
and Freedom Plaza had one Bus each, and Cypress Village Residents were well representted.
This so impressed the County Commissioners, they unanimously approved, the final vote to build the Golf
Cart Path. It took over two years, but the path was finally built.
The dedication was on December 17, 1999.