, 2015

Up John Creek, county officials
endorse ‘no wake’ proposal

by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—A John Creek resident received unanimous approval from Lancaster supervisors last week to establish a “no wake” zone in front of his property at the entrance to John Creek.

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The creek is off the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River on the north side of the Merry Point Ferry ramp. The request by E.R. “Bing” Kallus must go before the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for final approval.

According to planning and land use director Don Gill, the entrance to the creek has two 90-degree turns.

“When boats make these turns at high speeds, it creates waves that crash against Kallus’s boat house, endangering the structure and eroding his shoreline. Mr. Kallus will be responsible for all costs associated with the placement of two buoys and the Virginia Marine Police would be responsible for the enforcement of the ‘no wake’ zone,” said Gill.

Kallus testified during the public hearing that he could not afford to put riprap along the shoreline to prevent the erosion.

“I and my contiguous neighbors...have each experienced damage to our shorelines and structures. At times, all of us have tried to signal...boaters to slow down, to little avail,” Kallus reported.

He noted a common maneuver of boaters “is a high-speed approach...with a quick reduction of power to idle, allowing the bow wave to continue undiminished.” The technique was even used by a Game and Inland Fisheries officer who entered the creek recently on official business, he said.

“Boats are tearing up the spit” at the entrance to the creek, added Ed Wignall, a neighbor who endorsed the request. “They leave a wake that goes over the spit and washes it away.”

District 2 supervisor Ernest Palin said he and other supervisors had visited the site and agreed with Kallus.

“I’ve been to the property,” said District 5 member and chairman Wally Beauchamp. “I’ve never voted for a ‘no wake’ zone because they’re almost unenforceable. I don’t know how much good it will do, but I’ll vote for it.”

The measure passed, 5-0.

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