Comment sought on extended no-wake zone

Published 10:55 am Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday will hold a public hearing with regard to the possible extension of a no-wake zone to the Nottoway River, just east of the General Vaughan Bridge on Smith’s Ferry Road.

“I’m interested in hearing what the people who boat there have to say,” Boykins-Branchville Supervisor Carl Faison said.

There are currently four separate zones on this section of the Nottoway River, starting with the public boat landing near the bridge through the former Dockside restaurant in the Nottoway Shores Subdivision. The two other zones are established in between those two, with one located near the bend in the river and the other where the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers nearly come in contact.

“It’s been suggested that you might want to consider basically incorporating the gap that’s between [the middle] zones right now,” county administrator Mike Johnson said. “The problems that are experienced are because this is a relatively short area — about 1,000 linear feet — that folks idle through and accelerate as soon as they leave the no-wake zone and then wait to decelerate until they get right to the buoys, which throws a substantial wake on the shoreline.

It’s the same thing in reverse for boats traveling north on the river, so it’s been suggested that you [the supervisors] consider making this all one very long zone to eliminate the gap.”

The proposed no-wake zone would stretch 3,650 feet.

“Sounds like a good thing to me,” vice chairman Ronald West said. “I know how boaters do. They gun it until [they hit the no-wake zone] and then back off of it. Then they gun it again.”

Following the public hearing, the supervisors will vote to amend Section 10-36 of the Southampton County Code. If approved, any person convicted of a no-wake violation would be subject to a fine of no more than $50.