** APPROVAL OF AGENDA. THE AGENDA WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS TANKARD, SESSOMS, PLUMLEE AND PALMER WERE ABSENT FROM THE MEETING.
1. MINUTES of previous meeting. THE MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION’S MAY MEETING WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
[Audio Item 1]
2. PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for
approval). A SINGLE SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEM 2A, WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
[Audio Item 2]
4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY, COUNSEL. NONE.
5. HIGGERSON-BUCHANAN, INC., #09-0861, requests an extension to an existing Wetland Permit previously issued by the City of Chesapeake and set to expire on June 26, 2013, authorizing the installation of approximately 390 linear feet of sheet-pile bulkhead with associated fill at 5300 Bainbridge Boulevard adjacent to the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO EXTEND THE PERMIT AS REQUESTED AND RECOMMENDED BY STAFF.
[Audio Item 5]
6. KINDER MORGAN TERMINALS, #13-0496, requests authorization to mechanically dredge 201,800 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous bottom per dredging cycle, of which 83,600 cubic yards is new dredging, to attain and maintain maximum depths of -52 feet below mean low water along the James River on the north side of Kinder Morgan Terminals’ Pier #9 in the City of Newport News.
The project is protested by petitioners. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED AND RECOMMENDED BY STAFF.
[Audio Item 6]
7. ROBERT McWILLIAMS, #12-1782, requests authorization to construct a 16-foot by 16-foot open-sided gazebo in association with the reconstruction of a private pier adjacent to his property at 1215 South Fairwater Drive situated along Edgewater Haven in Norfolk.
The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED AND RECOMMENDED BY STAFF.
[Audio Item 7]
8. JOSEPH MORRISSEY, #12-1645, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 112 linear foot cinder block bulkhead encroaching over 2,546 square feet of non-vegetated tidal wetlands at his property situated along the James River at 1308 Chaffins Bluff Lane in Henrico County.
The project requires a wetlands permit. THE COMMISSION AGREED TO CONTINUE THIS MATTER UNTIL THE JULY MEETING AS REQUESTED BY THE APPLICANT.
[Audio Item 8]
9. MARK EUBANK, #13-0648, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a vinyl groin extending 50 feet channelward of mean low water along the Chesapeake Bay at 4 Sweet Gum Drive in Mathews County. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE AFTER-THE-FACT PERMIT BUT REQUIRED A $1,000 CIVIL CHARGE BE PAID BY THE CONTRACTOR.
[Audio Item 9]
10. LEASED OYSTER GROUND. Pursuant to Code Section 28.2-559, Staff request for the Commission to allow 17 oyster planting ground leaseholders, upon a petition by the leaseholders, up to three years from this date to remove oysters (clams) or shell from leased ground found to be in public oyster beds based on a newly discovered 1895 survey of the Public Oyster Beds, Rocks and Shoals completed under the direction of J.B. Baylor, Assistant U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, known as the Baylor Survey, made pursuant to Chapter 511 of the 1892 Acts of Assembly.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PROVIDE UP TO THREE YEARS FOR THE OYSTER PLANTING GROUND LEASEHOLDERS TO REMOVE ANY OYSTERS OR SHELL FROM THE LEASES, WHICH WERE FOUND TO BE MISTAKENLY ASSIGNED IN PUBLIC OYSTER BEDS.
[Audio Item 10]
11. DISCUSSION: Establishment of application fees and appointment of hearing officers for tidal wetlands and dune/beach permits.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ESTABLISH A $300 NONREFUNDABLE APPLICATION FEE FOR WETLANDS AND DUNE/BEACH APPLICATIONS IN THOSE LOCALITIES THAT HAVE NOT ADOPTED THE WETLANDS OR COASTAL PRIMARY SAND DUNE ORDINANCE, IN WHICH CASES THE COMMISSION ACTS AS THE BOARD FOR THE PERMIT DECISION.
THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPOINT EACH ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER IN THE HABITAT MANAGEMETN DIVISION AS A HEARING OFFICER FOR WETLANDS AND BEACH DUNE APPLICATIONS.
[Audio Item 11]
12. PUBLIC COMMENT: ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS SPOKE ON CRAFTING A LIMITED ENTRY APPROACH TO THE MANAGEMENT OF CHANNEL WHELK, AND SUGGESTED THE COMMISSIONER APPOINT A WHELK MANAGEMENT ADVISORY
PANEL. HE ALSO URGED THE COMMISSIONER TO CONTINUE A COMMISSION LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBCOMMITTEE THAT WAS SEATED SEVERAL MONTHS AGO TO EXAMINE VARIOUS LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES, IN PARTICULAR AN EFFORT TO SPEEDILY BRING EGREGIOUS VIOLATORS BEFORE THE COMMISSION FOR POTENTIAL LICENSE SUSPENSIONS.
FISHERIES CHIEF ROB O’REILLY SPOKE DURING PUBLIC COMMENT TO THANK ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS ROBINS AND FOX FOR THEIR MANY YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE COMMISSION, IN PARTICULAR FOR THEIR CHAIRMANSHIPS OF THE CRAB MANAGEMENT AND SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES, RESPECTIVELY. BOTH MEN WILL BE LEAVING THE COMMISSION BECAUSE THEIR TERMS HAVE EXPIRED AND THEY ARE INELIGIBLE UNDER THE LAW FOR REAPPOINTMENT.
[Audio Item 12]
13. FAILURE TO REPORT: Cases involving failure to report commercial harvests, in accordance with Chapter 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting.”
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PLACE A WATERMAN ON TWO YEARS PROBATION FOR FAILING TO TIMELY REPORT HIS CATCH, AS REQUIRED.
[Audio Item 13]
14. REPEAT OFFENDERS. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SUSPEND WATERMAN JAMES NEWSOME’S COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE FOR ONE YEAR, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, FOR REPEATED VIOLATIONS, INCLUDING HARVESTING OYSTERS AT NIGHT AND FROM A CONDEMNED AREA, AS WELL AS DREDGING OYSTER’S WITHOUT A PERMIT, FAILING TO TAG HIS OYSTER HARVEST AND TAKING OYSTERS FROM SOMEONE ELSE’S OYSTER CAGE.
[Audio Item 14]
15. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-490-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Sharks,” to allow federal waters landings of spiny dogfish during May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2012, to serve as a basis for harvesters to continue participation in this limited access fishery.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ALLOW THE DOCUMENTATION OF FEDERAL LANDINGS OF SPINY DOGFISH DURING THE MAY 1, 2010 THROUGH APRIL 30, 2012 PERIOD TO SATISFY THE LIMITED ENTRY REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED AT THE APRIL 2013 COMMISSION MEETING.
MR. FLOYD GIBBS SPOKE DURING PUBLIC COMMENT ON BEHALF OF THE SPINY DOG FISHERMAN WHO WOULD BE EXCLUDED BY THE LIMITED ENTRY REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED AT THE APRIL 2013 COMMISSION MEETING.
HE EXPLAINED THAT THE STAFF RECOMMENDATION, WHICH THE COMMISSION APPROVED, WOULD SATISFY HIM AND PREVENT THE INDIVIDUALS FROM BEING REMOVED FROM THE FISHERY.
[Audio Item 15]
16. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-450-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish,” to establish the 2013 and 2014 Virginia commercial bluefish quotas.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ESTABLISH THE COMMERCIAL BLUEFISH QUOTA FOR 2013 AT 1,078,179 POUNDS, AND FOR 2014 AT 1,030,419 POUNDS.
[Audio Item 16]
17. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposal to repeal Chapter 4VAC20-200-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Requirements for Reporting Oyster Transactions and Payment of Taxes,” and amend a subsection of Chapter 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting,” as both regulations contain conflicts with adopted legislation that established the oyster resource user fees that are effective July 1, 2013.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO RESCIND THE OYSTER TAX REGULATIONS AS OF JULY 1, 2013 BECAUSE THEY WILL BE REPLACED ON THAT DATE BY OYSTER USER FEES REQUIRED UNDER A BILL PASSED UNANIMOUSLY BY THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
[Audio Item 17]
18. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed adoption of emergency amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-270-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Crabbing,” to ensure that any harvest, possession or vessel limits are daily limits.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO MAKE FINAL THE EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-270-10 ET SEQ. THAT CLARIFIED THAT ALL 2013 CRAB BUSHEL LIMITS ARE DAILY LIMITS AND NOT TRIP LIMITS.
[Audio Item 18]
THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEM WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY:
2A. SANDERS YACHT YARD, #13-0572, requests authorization to construct six (6) floating concrete piers with associated gangways, finger piers, T-head platforms and mooring piles to create 111 wet slips, construct a 2,400 square foot open-pile boat service platform and wharf, a 360 square foot upper platform, a 2,400 square foot floating sheltered boat service slip with an 8-foot wide by 144-foot long floating concrete pier, a travel lift with two (2) 100-foot long travel lift piers, two (2) tending piers totaling 118 linear feet with one (1) 288 square foot platform, a 2,435 square foot open-pile wharf and construct a 20-foot wide by 70-foot long replacement concrete boat ramp with an 8-foot wide by 50-foot long tending pier along the shoreline of Carter Creek on Carters Creek Road in Lancaster County.