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Wakulla river-dwellers request noise ordinance amendments

Posted at 11:22 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 23:22:40-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — People living near the Wakulla River say they’ve had enough of the noise that’s come with people hanging out at the river. Now they’re calling on the county to make some changes.

Liz Sparks visits the river regularly and said, “I’ve heard a number of people say the noise gets so loud it actually rattles the walls.”

Jordan Hawkins lives near the river and added, “You can’t not hear it.”

She and others are asking for more peace and respect.

“From people who may not live on the river who may not realize how hard it is to bring your family out to enjoy your property when there’s all sorts of vulgar language being spoken," said Hawkins.

Hawkins is one of the people who have filed complaints to the county. They are asking commissioners to amend the county’s noise ordinance on the busiest parts of the river.

But, the concerns do not stop there. Sarah Hundley also lives near the river.

She says when the day is done and boaters leave, safety on the waterway becomes an issue.

“Especially when it’s later in the day they’ve had a few drinks they really tend to speed," said Hundley. "It’s just too narrow of a river for speeders to go up and down as if this is an ocean or a lake.”

People now want to see the river no longer classified as an open waterway.

If commissioners approve changes in their favor, it could mean boaters would be subject to quiet zones between the upper and lower bridges, and a no wake zone for speeding.

“Wakulla River is a splendid resource," said Sparks. "It’s a wonderful place for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, but somehow we need to bring more respect into the situation more consideration for the resource and for each other.”

Commissioners are expected to discuss the requests at their meeting Monday at 5 p.m.