Town Council Casts Away Boat Parking Issue

Cape Charles Wave

September 28, 2012

Cape Charles Town Council concluded yesterday that boat trailer parking on Town streets is not a serious problem.

The Town has no authority to regulate boat parking, and the only way to change that is for the General Assembly to pass a bill modifying the State code. Town staff would need to lobby Delegate Lynwood Lewis to introduce a bill during the 2013 session.

At yesterday’s Council work session, Police Chief Sambo Brown noted that the Wave had canvassed the Historic District on Sunday and found only 12 boats parked on the streets. A year ago, 22 boats had been counted.

Town Manager Heather Arcos reported that 110 boats are registered in the Town, down from 182 a year ago.

Council member Larry Veber was concerned about wide trailers preventing access to emergency vehicles. Chief Brown recalled a recent problem on Monroe Avenue when an ambulance had to go around the block to reach a house. However, the blockage was caused by a construction trailer, not a boat, he said.

Brown said that in cases where a boat is a problem, police ask the owner to move it. No owner has ever refused a police request. However, if safety is not an issue, police are not authorized to ask an owner to move a boat, he said.


Council members Chris Bannon, Joan Natali, and Mike Sullivan felt the Town should petition the General Assembly to amend the code. But Tom Godwin, Frank Wendell, and Larry Veber were not convinced that the problem merited it.

Mayor Dora Sullivan was absent, so sentiment was split 3-3. Without a majority in favor of taking further action, the matter rests.


Town Council also held a closed session to consider a request and proposal from South Port Investors LLC to amend leases on five Town-owned parcels.

South Port is leasing the Town’s old sewage treatment property for its proposed Cape Charles Yacht Center – a full-service mega-yacht complex. According to South Port promotional material, the Cape Charles location will draw boaters from the Northeast all the way to Florida, and would provide yacht repair, manufacturing, and sales.

Closed sessions are allowed in such cases as negotiating the terms of a lease. Any subsequent decision by Town Council must be voted during open session, with details of the lease made public.



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