WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) – A vote is creating controversy in Wrightsville Beach. Board members decided to deny a request to ask the state to designate a "No Wake" zone in Banks Channel. The vote also denied residents a chance to present their case in a public hearing at this time.
The request was part of a presentation by a community member, Jerry Cook. He showed board members a petition with more than 400 signatures he collected, showing support for the action.
Cook said he's disappointed by the board's decision, especially the denial of a public hearing.
"It would, you know, not cost the town anything," Cook said. "It would let both sides, the pros and the cons, to come public and discuss the issue."
Cook said his push for a "No Wake Zone" is all about safety, citing boats that speed through the channel as other people kayak, paddleboard and swim nearby, but Mayor Bill Blair said his reason for voting against the request was also about safety on the water.
"To put a no wake zone, I'm not sure is to everybody," Blair said. "They've coexisted pretty good up to now and I don't see a lot of incidents where there have been a lot of safety issues."
Alderman Linda Weeks voted for the request, hoping to give the community a chance to discuss the issue further. For now, Weeks said the board will just have to look at laws already on the books and try to keep the waters safe through enforcement.
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