TLAC’s Navigation Committee voted against making any changes to Smith Mountain Lake’s no-wake buoy criteria during a meeting Monday.
The review came after TLAC’s board of directors requested that the committee take a closer look at the criteria following a vote last year to deny a no-wake zone in the Huddleston area near Eagle’s Roost Campground. Board members suggested a review since the criteria hasn’t changed since it was first adopted more than 20 years ago.
“The question that the board posed is: do we have the right criteria or do we to update it in some fashion,” said Randy Stow, chairman of the navigation committee.
Stow asked if there should be more consideration for areas, such as campgrounds like the recent applicant, that have heavier traffic. The current criteria limits application to only those locations that are open to the public such as marinas and restaurants.
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“If you start softening up the criteria, its going to open the floodgates,” said committee member Neil Sturman.
Committee member Gene McGuire said locations open to the public due to a commercial use have increased traffic due to inviting people in. Residential areas that are not open to the public, such as the recent application, have traffic mainly from the residents who live there.
Committee member Eric Cheney questioned if it would be a good idea to make changes to the criteria after working for so long without any problems. “It’s worked well for 20 plus years,” he said. “If we start stripping it away we are going to end up with no-wake areas throughout the lake.”
Cheney moved to maintain the current criteria and no make any changes. The vote was passed unanimously by the rest of the committee.
The recommendation will go back to the TLAC board of directors for a final vote Feb. 14.