The issue of golf carts being used on and around roads and green areas next to the east shore Silver Lake has been a discussion point at the last few Village of Perry Board meetings. A Village of Perry resident initiated the complaint in which he originally included private properties owned by the Silver Lake Institute and the Asbury Retreat Center. After that was cleared up, there apparently were golf carts being used on public roads in that same general area but the only roads that belonged to the Village were Walker and Euclid. Now those two roads are clearly posted for not permitting the use of golf carts on them.
The issue of golf carts becomes a little more complicated in the Silver Lake Institute (SLI) and the Asbury Retreat Center because in both cases their private properties are separated by a public road.
Originally, SLI was a toll-gated religious community with no public roads within its grounds. Eventually the gates came down and in the early 1950's, work was begun on an extended and widened Perry Ave. brought about through a negotiation which took place between SLI and the Town of Castile. Its purpose was to extend SLI's widest road, Perry Ave., which ran between Camp Road and Embury Avenue, Embury being located on the northern border of Burt Park.
The Town of Castile agreed to extend Perry Avenue around the west end of Burt Park. SLI agreed to purchase and remove an abandoned cottage on the corner of Genesee and Kingsley so Kingsley Ave. could be widened, taken over, and renamed by Castile as a continuation of Perry Ave. to become both a public road and a direct link between Chapman and Camp Road. This extension of Perry Ave. has become a useful route that the school buses currently utilize and helpful to cars accessing Epworth Hall from the north and Warsaw areas by way of the Silver Lake Road. The cost of the road extension and widening must have been the prime reason for the SLI governing body to willingly split the private community in half and welcome traffic idiosyncrasies into its community life.
Having a municipal road run through the center of the SLI community created problems from the beginning. Most driving Perry Ave. today don't fully realize they are traveling through a unique private community which has its own governing body and policing authority granted by the NYS Legislature. Even so, SLI was unable to even determine the speed limit on the "new" road which residents were regularly crossing to get to other areas of the Institute for residential activities. Golf carts are permitted on all SLI-owned roads if operated by a duly licensed driver at least 16 years of age. The need for crossing Perry Ave. was (and is) essential for the quality of life to be accessible to all residents equally.