Currituck limits boat ramp parking


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Monday, September 11, 2017

CURRITUCK — Parking at county boat ramps longer than 24 hours will no longer be permitted under an ordinance amendment recently adopted by Currituck commissioners.

The amended ordinance states that all county boat ramps are open unless otherwise posted. The provisions of the ordinance apply to county boat ramps, not those operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The ordinance regulates parking at county boat ramps, stating “no person shall leave, or cause to be left, any vehicle, boat, trailer or other obstruction on the facility in such a location, position or condition that it will prevent, impede or inconvenience the use by other persons of the facility, or leave parked any vehicle, boat trailer or other objects at any place on the facility other than on such place or zone as is designated as an authorized parking zone and posted and marked as a parking zone.”

The ordinance further states that “no person shall leave, or cause to be left, a vehicle parked in the parking area of the facility for longer than 24 hours.”

Commissioner Mary “Kitty” Etheridge said she was concerned about people leaving vehicles for two days or more at the time at the N.C. Wildlife Resources’ boat ramp on Knotts Island.

County Manager Dan Scanlon and County Attorney Ike McRee noted the Knotts Island ramp is operated by the state, not the county.

Other commissioners indicated they also had received complaints about parking at the Knotts Island ramp, saying the main problem seems to be people from Virginia parking at the ramp and then visiting in North Carolina — presumably on the Outer Banks — with friends who then bring them back to their vehicles.

The situation reportedly is especially troublesome on holiday weekends such as the recent Labor Day weekend.

Commissioner Bob White said the problem is so severe at times that boats and trailers cannot access the ramp for its intended use.

White asked county staff to speak with N.C. Wildlife Resources officials again about the matter to see if the state can remedy the problem. Scanlon said he would do that.

The amendment commissioners adopted prohibits launching and retrieving motorboats and vessels at county facilities other than at the boat ramp area of the facility. It also bars mooring a motorboat or vessel to the dock or pier area of the facility for longer than 24 hours. The only exception is at Corolla Historic Park, where motorboats and vessels may be moored during park operating hours and county approved events. Also prohibited under the amendment is mooring a boat at the Currituck County Rural Center.

Commissioner Mike Hall asked why mooring was banned at the rural center. McRee explained that it’s because of the narrowness of the channel at the county-owned site.

According to the ordinance, flying kites and operating remote-controlled vehicles and aircraft are prohibited activities at Maple Park but allowed at the county’s other parks.

The amendment allows dogs at county parks, public beach access areas and boat ramps if they have current vaccinations and licenses, are neither younger than 4 months of age or in heat, are on a leash, are not aggressive and are not left unattended. Owners are required to dispose of their dog’s fecal matter.

Dogs are not permitted at Currituck Community Park during scheduled athletic events.

Swimming and wading are prohibited in all county parks except for Historic Corolla Park.