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County commissioners to apply for ‘no wake zone’ on part of High Rock Lake

SALISBURY — Rowan County Commissioners voted on Monday to apply for a “no wake zone” on Panther Creek at High Rock Lake from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission after several residents of the lake expressed safety concerns.

At the meeting, nearly half a dozen residents around the lake cited the danger of jet ski and boat traffic, especially with the tighter space on the lake due to a growing number of piers.

Mark Scott serves as the president of Emerald Bay Homeowners Association, which adjoins High Rock Lake and Eagle Point Nature Preserve.

“From a safety standpoint, we’re very concerned someone … is going to hit one of the docks there,” Scott said, adding that the Homeowners Association would accept the financial responsibility for the project.

Stephen Kidd, citing a personal example of potential property damage, said the addition of more piers as the community has become more populated has made for tighter space on the lake.

A married couple who live on the lake also echoed the safety concerns, insisting that the “no wake zone” wouldn’t interfere with anyone having fun on the lake.

“I don’t really want to think about going down there and seeing a child’s head chopped up,” the husband said when referencing the difficulty of seeing children’s heads in the choppy lake waters.

While there were two options for the start of the zone, the board voted to suggest all of Panther Creek be included in the “no wake zone” after recommendation from all the speakers at the public hearing. This suggested zone area would allow more time for boats to slow down and turn around.

An application for the “no wake zone” will be submitted to the state wildlife commission, which will make the final call on whether the zone can be established, where it would begin and any other regulations. Locals will then have an open comment period of 60 days before the wildlife commission allows for a public meeting to adopt the measure.

During the commissioners meeting, the board also held a public hearing for the Subdivision Text Amendment 02-19, which proposes widening county roads and turn-around standards. The proposal is intended to assist emergency medical vehicles with services, according to representatives from the Rowan County Fire Division.

The board voted to approve the measure, but will conduct a second reading at the next meeting on Feb. 17 due to Chairman Greg Edds’ absence from Monday’s meeting because of sickness.

Additionally, the board approved a settlement between Topaz Development, Inc. and Rowan County. The settlement was resolved in December after a 12-year-long dispute of whether Phase III of the Archer Ridge subdivision fell in Rowan or Cabarrus county lines. The settlement declares the subdivision falls in Rowan County lines, which makes the county responsible for all zoning, building and regulating of the project.

County commissioner meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month. The next meeting will be on Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Rowan County Administration Building.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at (704) 797-4246.



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