Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunset Boat Ramp Offer Rescinded

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HAMPTON—Mayor Donnie Tuck announced this week that Sunset Boat Ramp, which is located at 21 Marina Road off Ivy Home Road near Surfrider Restaurant, will not be purchased by Bluewater Yacht Sales after all. Bluewater initially wanted the ramp and two adjacent lots to expand their marina capabilities to accommodate larger sailing vessels.

Many opponents of the sale of the ramp were against the idea because they were worried they would no longer be able to use one of the best public access points to the Hampton River. Others were worried Bluewater’s plans for the ramp and adjacent properties would increase potential boat traffic and noise in that area.

The sale of the ramp has been pending since 2019. Hampton has maintained from the beginning that the sale would not go through until they could find another suitable area for a public access ramp. A task force appointed by the city determined that none of the four potential sites they had identified as potential alternative ramp sites panned out.

At Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Donnie Tuck made the announcement that the offer to buy the ramp had been withdrawn by Bluewater Yacht Sales. “They, like us, have never wanted to diminish boaters’ access to our great waters,” he said. “Like us, they have been unfairly labeled as trying to do so. Accordingly, tonight the council is closing out all discussions on the sale of Sunset Boat Ramp.” Many are considering this to mean that the case is closed.

“I would personally like to thank every citizen who emailed, called, wrote letters, and attended council meetings,” said Brenda Marks, who lives directly across from the service yard of Bluewater Yacht Sales and enjoys access to the boat ramp. “It took a village, but for now our boat ramp is going nowhere. It is now time to unite to use our power to do initiatives and create push for one that requires a referendum approval of any sale of publicly owned waterfront property. We need to take back control of what happens to our public access to the water.”

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