Mathews County, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Mathews County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Litter control — See Ch. 86.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 109.
Sand dunes — See Ch. 122.
Wetlands — See Ch. 166.
[Adopted 7-23-1991; amended 4-27-1999]

§ 15-1 Title.

A. 
This article is titled the "Mathews County No Wake and No Damaging Wake Ordinance."
B. 
This article may be cited as the "No Wake Ordinance."

§ 15-2 Statutory authority.

The governing body of Mathews County adopts this article pursuant to the authority granted in § 29.1-744 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.

§ 15-3 Purpose.

The governing body of Mathews County deems enactment of this article necessary in order to preserve the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Mathews County and specifically to provide for and ensure the safe and reasonable operation of vessels and to reduce the risk of collision, personal injury and property damage as a result of wakes created by the operation of vessels on the waterways of Mathews County, Virginia.

§ 15-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DAMAGING WAKE
A wake, swell, wave wash or displacement wave in excess of 18 inches in height or one that, due to the nature of the surrounding area, may cause or potentially cause damage.
MOTORBOAT
Any vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is the principal source of propulsion.
[1]
NAUTICAL CHART
The charts published by the United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that are available to the public for navigational use.
NO WAKE
Operation of a vessel at the slowest possible speed required to maintain steerage and headway.
OPERATE
To navigate, cause to be propelled or otherwise control the use of a vessel as herein defined.
PASSENGERS
Those persons physically located upon a vessel at the time of a violation who do not participate in the navigation or propelling or otherwise control the use of a vessel.
PERSON
Any human save and except law enforcement officers acting in the lawful discharge of their duties to the extent that their actions might or would otherwise constitute a violation of this article.
SPECIFIED AREA
An area of a body of water or waterway defined by the governing body of Mathews County as falling within the purview of this article.
VESSEL
Watercraft of every description used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water, including but not limited to motorboats, but excepting sea planes.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 15-5 Prohibited acts.

A. 
In waterways or bodies of water hereinafter specified as no wake areas it shall be unlawful for a person to operate a vessel in any manner except as described in the definition of "no wake" in § 15-4.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
In waterways or bodies of water hereinafter defined as no damaging wake areas it shall be unlawful for a person to operate a vessel in such a way as to create a damaging wake as defined in § 15-4 of this article.

§ 15-6 Specified areas.

A. 
A no wake area shall be established in Milford Haven in an area beginning at Light No. 3, which beacon is located at the western entrance of the Narrows, thence easterly through the Narrows over the waters of Milford Haven to a point 100 yards east of Light No. 6, which light is south of Callis Wharf, which is referenced on Nautical Chart No. 12235.
B. 
A no damaging wake area shall be established in Milford Haven in an area beginning at a point 100 yards east of Light No. 6, which light is south of Callis Wharf, thence easterly over the waters of Milford Haven to Day Beacon No. 8, which is referenced on Nautical Chart No. 12235.
C. 
A no damaging wake area shall be established in Cobbs Creek beginning at Day Beacon No. 2, thence southerly up Cobbs Creek to the head of said Creek, including its tributaries, which is referenced in Nautical Chart No. 12235.
D. 
A no damaging wake area shall be established in Queens Creek beginning at the entrance as located by Day Beacon No. 6, thence proceeding westerly up Queens Creek to the head of said creek, including tributaries, which is referenced on Nautical Chart No. 12235.
E. 
A no damaging wake area shall be established in Stutts Creek beginning at Day Beacon No. 6, thence proceeding westerly up Stutts Creek to the head of said creek, including its tributaries, which is referenced on Nautical Chart No. 12235.
F. 
A no damaging wake area shall be established in Horn Harbor beginning at Day Beacon No. 16, thence proceeding westerly up Horn Harbor to the head of said creek, including its tributaries, as referenced on Nautical Chart No. 12238.

§ 15-7 Posting and maintenance of signs.

A. 
The County Administrator or his/her designated agent is hereby authorized to post or cause to be posted such signs as required by this article at such location or locations as are approved by the Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries, Commonwealth of Virginia.
B. 
The County Administrator or his/her designated agent is hereby authorized to repair or replace damaged, lost or stolen signs and to remove obsolete signs.

§ 15-8 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor for each of such violations and shall be subject to the penalties for such misdemeanors as defined in § 18.2-11 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended.
B. 
No person shall be convicted of violating this article unless all of the signs approved by the Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries, Commonwealth of Virginia, for the area in which the violation occurs indicating the regulations of this article have been posted so as to give notice of the same.

§ 15-9 Enforcement.

Every game warden, Marine Resources Commission patrol officer and every other law enforcement officer of this state and its subdivisions and of the United States government shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this article and in exercise thereof shall have the authority to stop any vessel subject to this article and, after identifying himself/herself in his/her official capacity, shall have the authority to issue a summons to appear in the District Court of the County of Mathews or to make an arrest.