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COMMISSION ACTIONS DECEMBER 6, 2011

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0, WITH ALL COMMISSIONERS PRESENT AT THE MEETING, TO APPROVE THE AGENDA WITH THE ADDITION OF ITEM 13, PERTAINING TO OYSTER CONTAINER DIMENSIONS.
[Audio Agenda

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION'S OCTOBER MEETING WERE APPROVED 9-0.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE TWO SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 2A AND 2B, WERE APPROVED.  ITEM 2A WAS APPROVED 9-0, WHILE ITEM 2B WAS APPROVED 8-0-1 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINING.
[Audio Item 2a][Audio Item 2b]

3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHE COMMISSION VOTE TO APPROVE TWO CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 3A AND 3B.  ITEM 3A WAS APPROVED 8-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER JOE PALMER VOTING NO.  ITEM 3B WAS APPROVED 9-0.
THE COMMISSION ASKED STAFF TO RECONSTITUTE THE HABITAT ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO MAKE RECOMMENDIATIONS ON POSSIBLY INCREASING THE AGENCY'S CIVIL CHARGE MATRIX, WHICH ESTABLISHES CHARGES IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT FOR VIOLATIONS OF HABITAT PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NOT NECESSARY THIS MONTH.

5.  HENRICO COUNTY, #05-0852, requests authorization to modify an existing permit to construct two (2) instream raw water intake structures with debris deflector, transmission lines and back flush lines, which will extend approximately 80 feet channelward of ordinary high water in the James River in Cumberland County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER PLUMLEE ABSTAINING, TO APPROVE THE PROJECT WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT A MUSSEL SURVEY AND RELOCATION BE DONE PRIOR TO COFFERDAM CONSTRUCTION, THAT SIGNS BE PUT UP TO WARN OF THE PRESENCE OF THE INTAKE STRUCTURES, AND THAT TIME OF YEAR RESTRICTIONS APPLY.
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6.  AMHERST COUNTY SERVICE AUTHORITY, #08-0619, requests authorization to install a raw water intake structure with debris deflector, 24-inch transmission lines and back wash lines extending approximately 630 feet channelward of ordinary high water within the James River in Amherst County.  The project is protested by adjacent property owners.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AFTER THE PROTESTS BY ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS WERE WITHDRAWN.
[Audio Item 6]

7.  LAWRENCE GREY, #11-1518, requests authorization to install a 160 linear foot riprap revetment a maximum of three (3) feet channelward of mean high water, and to backfill approximately 2,680 square feet of jurisdictional beach landward of the revetment for bank stabilization adjacent to his property situated along the James River, located at 13901 Weyanoke Road in Charles City County.  AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING, THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO TABLE THE MATTER AT THE APPLICANT'S REQUEST UNTIL THE JANUARY MEETING IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL TIME TO REDESIGN THE PROJECT.
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8.  PUBLIC COMMENTS.  JAMES RIVER OYSTERMAN RICHARD GREEN PRESENTED A PETITION SIGNED BY "VERY UPSET" WATERMEN WHO OBJECTED TO WHAT THE WATERMEN BELIEVED WAS A NEW BOUNDARY LINE BETWEEN HAND TONGING AND HAND SCRAPING IN THE JAMES RIVER NEAR THOMAS ROCK.  HE WAS TOLD THE LINE HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE 2004 AND NOW IS MARKED WITH POLES AND SIGNS. 
ALSO, A GWYNN'S ISLAND WATERMAN ADDRESSED THE COMMISSION TO SAY HE WANTED ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO BE WAIVED SO HE COULD GET A COMMERCIAL DOGFISH PERMIT AND A COMMERCIAL HOOK AND LINE LICENSE, AND THAT HE WANTED NEW OYSTER TONGING GROUNDS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THE PIANKATANK RIVER, IMMUNITY FROM BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE IF THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH STRIPED BASS TAGS HE LEASES TO ANOTHER WATERMAN, AND FOR PERMISSION TO COLLECT OYSTER TOADS WHILE USING SCUBA GEAR. 
[Audio Item 8a][Audio Item 8b]

9.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-960, "Pertaining to Tautog," to achieve a 50.5 percent reduction in commercial and recreational harvests and to comply with the provisions of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO REDUCE THE RECREATIONAL TAUTOG HARVEST BY INSTITUTING A LONGER CLOSED SEASON (TO LAST FROM APRIL 16-SEPT. 23) WITH A 16 INCH MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT AND A THREE FISH DAILY CREEL LIMIT.
THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED 9-0 TO REDUCE THE COMMERCIAL TAUTOG HARVEST BY INSTITUTING A LONGER CLOSED SEASON (FROM JAN 18-MARCH 15 AND FROM MAY 1 TO NOV. 12) AND A 15 INCH MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT. THE COMMISSION ALSO SIGNALED IT WILL CONSIDER CREATING A LIMITED ENTRY COMMERCIAL TAUTOG FISHERY, WITH A CONTROL DATE OF DEC. 6, 2011.

[Audio Item 9a][Audio Item 9b]

10. PUBLIC HEARING:  Andrew Sturgis requests approval to license and locate four pound nets along the Eastern Shore.  THE POUND NET APPLICATIONS WERE FOUND TO BE IMPROPER AT THIS TIME BUT MAY BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COMMISSION IN THE MONTHS TO COME.
[Audio Item 10]

11. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  American Shad:  Continuing the by-catch fishery in 2012.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE IN JANUARY ON CONTINUING THE AMERICAN SHAD BYCATCH FISHERY IN 2012.
[Audio Item 11]

12. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Golden Tilefish:  Increasing the commercial trip limit to conform to the federal rule.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE IN JANUARY ON INCREASING THE COMMERCIAL TRIP LIMIT FOR GOLDEN TILEFISH AND A RANGE OF OPTIONS FOR THE COMMERCIAL POSSESSION OF BLUELINE TILEFISH AND SAND TILEFISH.
[Audio Item 12]

13. DISCUSSION ON OYSTER CONTAINERS:  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO APPROVE AN ALTERNATE OYSTER TUB DESIGN PROPOSED BY DR. JIM WESSON.  THE ADDITIONAL METAL TUBS ARE EASIER TO HAVE MADE BY A SHEET-METAL SHOP AND ARE CHEAPER, COSTING ROUGHLY $200 EACH INSTEAD OF $800 FOR A STANDARD METAL VIRGINIA OYSTER TUB.
[Audio Item 13]

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION:

2A.  CITY OF ROANOKE, #11-0852, requests authorization to replace the existing Old Mountain Road Bridge in the City of Roanoke, the new bridge will be downstream of the existing bridge and will be a two (2) span bridge measuring approximately 131-feet long by 56-feet wide with one pier installed in the streambed of Tinker Creek.  All stream work will be accomplished in coffer dams and the old bridge will be demolished after completion of new bridge. 

2B.  FLUOR ENTERPRISES, INC., #08-2001, requests authorization to modify an existing permit to allow the installation of 120 linear feet of riprap revetment extending a maximum of five-feet (5) channelward of ordinary high water along Aquia Creek, and to modify the size of the previously authorized bridges to a 160-foot long by approximately 52-foot wide clear span bridge along Aquia Creek and a 180 foot long by 52-foot wide clear span bridge along Chopawamsic Creek in Prince William and Stafford Counties. 
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THE FOLLOWING TWO PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WERE APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION:   

3A. SEYED FALSAFI, #11-0909, requests authorization to retain a 260 linear foot riprap revetment extending a maximum of 6-foot channelward of mean low water impacting 932 square feet of subaqueous bottom, adjacent to his property at 835 Herbert Springs Road, situated along the Potomac River in Fairfax County.  The applicant agrees to pay a civil charge in the amount of $1,800.00 in lieu of further enforcement action.  Staff recommends approval with a triple permit fee totaling $300.00 and acceptance of the aforementioned civil charge.

3B. SHIELDS PROPERTIES, LLC, #10-1116, requests an after-the-fact permit modification to their 45-foot long by 10-foot wide L-head pier that was constructed 3.9 feet further channelward than authorized by their permit, adjacent to their property along Assateague Channel near the mouth of Sheepshead Creek at 7536 East Side Road in the Town of Chincoteague.  The applicant and contractor have both agreed to pay a civil charge in the amount of $600.00 each in lieu of further enforcement action. Staff recommends approval and acceptance of the aforementioned civil charge.

 


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