City Council files Title 6 amendment for public inspection

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Ashanti Thomas

The City Council have their meeting Tuesday evening.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

The Charleston City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday to put on file for public inspection an amendment to Title 6 city ordinance adding a new chapter regarding low-speed electric and gas-powered bicycles.

The council motioned to add chapter six regulating low-speed electric and low-speed gas-powered bicycles to Title 6 of the City of Charleston Code of Ordinances.

If the council passes the amendment to Title 6, owners on Oct. 1 will:

  • Any resident within the City owning and operating a low-speed electric bicycle or a low-speed gas bicycle within the City shall register the bicycle with the Charleston Police Department
  • With the receipt of the registration, be provided a tag which must be attached to the frame of the bicycle
  • Pay an annual $50 registration fee
  • Will allow the police to inspect and/or revoke the registration of any bicycle
  • Failure to register such bicycle will result in a $10 additional late fee
  • It will be the duty of the owner to properly register transfer or sale of bicycles under this amendment

This includes low-speed electric bicycles with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. The electric motor for a low-speed electric bicycles provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops when the bicycles reach 20 miles per hour, could be used exclusively to drive the bicycles up to 20 miles per hour, or provides assistance while pedaling but stops at 28 miles per hour.

The ordinance amendment also includes low-speed gas-powered bicycles with two or three wheels with operable pedals and gasoline motor of less than one horsepower, which has a maximum speed of less than 20 miles per hour when powered solely by the motor with a rider weighing 170 pounds.

Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs said the amendment was due to an increase of concerns over traffic enforcement regulations with the specific types of bicycle.

“The use and operation of low-speed electric bicycles and low-speed gas-bicycles within the city has increased drastically within the last several years, and such low-speed electric bicycles and low-speed gas-bicycles have become to present a unique issue with regards to traffic enforcement regulations and overall public safety,” Combs said.

If Title 6 is amended to include chapter six, violations of the provisions within the chapter could result in a fine from $100 to $750. 

The proposed amendment will be on file for public inspection and available from the Charleston City Hall until the next council meeting on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

The council unanimously approved an ordinance requesting approval of a rear yard setback variance for the property at 1239 Persimmon Rd.

This ordinance was by Mark O’Neill who submitted the petition as trustee to the O’Neill Family Trust to allow for a 15 feet set back to the backyard of the property on the East side.

The council unanimously approved two separate petitions in relation to each other from Lanman Properties for a zoning map amendment to 1506 B Street and 1508 B Street.

For both properties, the zoning map amendment would adjust the property from Limited Multi-Family Residence District to General Commercial District.

The council also approved a raffle license to the Beta Mu chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha, an Eastern Registered Student Organization for service, for Oct. 16, to raise funds for St. Jude.

 

Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]