Upper Arlington City Council rejected an ordinance to allow drivers to use under-speed vehicles in the city.

Upper Arlington City Council rejected an ordinance to allow drivers to use under-speed vehicles in the city.

Members voted 4-3 against the measure at Monday's meeting after asking a number of questions about safety and legality.

David DeCapua, Mary Ann Krauss, Edward Seidel and Erik Yassenoff voted no during a roll-call vote.

The ordinance would have allowed residents to drive golf cart-like vehicles that operate under 25 miles per hour on city streets where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.

City attorney Jeanine Hummer said that though the state allows the vehicles to be licensed and titled, local municipalities have the right to choose if they are allowed on the streets.

Police Chief Brian Quinn said his officers generally do not ticket under-speed vehicles.

DeCapua said he was concerned that council and city staff spent numerous hours on the subject when it seemed only a few residents had interest in operating the under-speed vehicles.

"I don't' know procedure, but there really is no appetite for this," he said. "We got a survey back that said 65 percent of residents have no interest in it. (I want there to be) some demonstration that there are more than two people who care; I don't see why we are talking about it."

Yassenoff said he agreed.

"This issue is really not ripe enough for the city council to be considering it at this point," he said. "The time might come for these vehicles, but now is not the time. I don't believe Upper Arlington should be leading the way on this."

He said city officials should propose legislation to "flat-out ban" the under-speed vehicles to eliminate confusion about their legality in Upper Arlington.

Council president Frank Ciotola said he had not made a decision on the subject until Monday.

"I think I am going to support the legislation," he said. "The reason for me is I do have a lot of concerns about safety but nothing has been demonstrated to show they are more unsafe than motorcycles or mopeds that we already allow on the streets. We have a history of already allowing them on the streets. Generally, I'm for individual rights and personal responsibility."

Council member Wade Steen said he agreed.

"It's their prerogative to do so," he said. "I don't see a reason not to allow a resident to drive this type of vehicle if he wants to."

In other business, council members voted 6-0-1 to approve an ordinance to grant a $600,000 loan to the Upper Arlington Community Foundation to construct a barn and performance pavilion at the Sunny 95 Park.

Yassenoff abstained from the vote, noting it would be a conflict of interest because he is active in the Northwest Kiwanis Club, which has made a donation to the foundation's barn-raising effort.

Ciotola said he thought this was a good move for council, especially because the city likely would not have to front the entire $600,000 if the foundation continued fundraising.

"I personally feel there is support in the community," he said. "I'm happy to see the citizenry step up and raise funds for this kind of facility rather than the city government funding it 100 percent themselves. Even if we end up stuck with $200,000 of it, we are going to end up getting a $1-million facility for $200,000."

He also said he thought the community foundation would "make good" on the loan.

Steen proposed an amendment which council approved to extend the repayment period for the foundation. The current ordinance requires the foundation to pay off the loan in four years.

"My amendment would allow council to extend the period for repayment," he said. "This allows us the latitude to extend it for six months. This is fairly common practice in the lending world."

Member Debbie Johnson said she thought the loan is a good deal for the city.

"If this structure were not at Sunny 95 Park, we would be spending close to $200,000 for a shelter house there," she said. "We are saving some cost there in our Parks and Recreation budget. I have seen some of the (community foundation) pledges, and they are substantial, and we have a very generous community. I think those pledges are guaranteed to come in."