Lake Wylie boaters could see new no wake buoys on the both sides of Saddler Island, a 37-acre island near the U.S. National Whitewater Center in North Carolina.
A public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Cook’s Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission voted Jan. 29 to hold the public meeting, giving initial approval to the plan.
The Lake Wylie Marine Commission has been working for several years to address resident and business concerns to slow boat traffic. The commissioners learned during their first meeting of the year Jan. 26 that their request for a no wake zone on the northwest side of the island had been approved by the wildlife commission. And that the wildlife commission wanted to add a no wake zone for the opposite side, too.
A vote Jan. 29 in favor of the two no wake zones means a 30-day public comment period and a public hearing held locally before going back to the wildlife group in March.
“There are more steps in the process,” said Kate Pipkin, North Carolina no wake zone coordinator. “This is the beginning of the Wildlife Resources Commission’s process.”
If given final approval, the marine commission would be in charge of setting out buoys. The area has been monitored for no wake zones by the commission for several years as the whitewater center and other businesses rent paddle boats and kayaks in an area also used by motorboats.
Pipkin said no wake zones only can be established based on safety concerns that “can’t be addressed in any other way.” Statewide no wake zones exist near docks and swimming areas. Local ones apply to all the bridges over Lake Wylie.
Farther down the lake, the cove near the Riverpointe neighborhood, near Buster Boyd Bridge,will not see extended no wake zones as requested. The commission suggested replacing existing buoys and extended them to the entire cove.
“Each situation is looked at individually,” Pipkin said. “We really don’t have hard and fast statewide criteria.”