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COMMISSION ACTIONS MARCH 2000

Agenda Items March 28, 2000
The Commission's action is in bold.

1. MINUTES of previous meeting. The Minutes were approved as circulated.

2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). The Commission voted to approve the permits.

3. CONSENT ORDERS: (Commission approval of consent agreement). After a discussion, the Commission decided not to consider any of the five consent orders as presented, but rather to place each item on the regular agenda at the April meeting. A subcommittee, comprised of Commission members John W. White, Sheppard H.C. Davis, Commission Counsel Carl Josephson and Habitat Management Division Chief Robert Grabb, was named to examine the civil charge matrix and the whole question of consent orders prior to the Commission's April meeting.

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION. Upon the advice of Counsel, a session was held to discuss the case of S. Willibrordus "Willie" Bokelaar (agenda item number 21).

5. GUM POINT OYSTER CO., #99-1596, requests authorization to install 12 pilings and deploy a maximum of 60 oyster floats to establish three (3) 60-foot by 60-foot commercial aquaculture sites near Blundering Point along Carter Creek and the York River in Gloucester County. The project is protested by the owners of two nearby parcels of property. The Commission voted to approve the permit.

6. STEPHEN M. HIGH, #98-1364, requests authorization to construct a 30-foot long by 14-foot wide, open-sided boathouse adjacent to his property situated along Herberts Creek in the City of Hampton. The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. The Commission voted to approve the permit.

7. BOB SASSER, #00-0077, requests authorization to install a 32-foot long by 14-foot wide private, non-commercial, open-sided boathouse at the channelward end of a proposed 220-foot long pier at his property situated along the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach. The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. The Commission voted to approve the permit.

8. LAWRENCE FUCCELLA, JR., #99-2290, requests authorization to construct a 60-foot by 20-foot enclosed boathouse addition to an existing 60-foot by 25-foot boathouse at his property along Urbanna Creek in Middlesex County. The Commission voted to approve the permit.

9. BRUCE DEGINDER, #97-1469, requests authorization to construct a 34-foot long by 28-foot non-commercial, open-sided, dual slip, two-story boathouse adjacent to his property situated along the Chickohominy River in James City County. The project is protested by a property owner in the vicinity. The Commission asked the parties to get together to try to solve the problems and voted to defer a decision until its April 25 meeting.

10. FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, #99-2347, requests authorization to conduct soil borings at two (2) locations in tidal wetlands on property owned by the National Park Service, adjacent to the Potomac River in Alexandria (related to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project). VMRC is acting as the Wetlands Board. The project is unprotested. The Commission voted to approve the permit.

11. PUBLIC HEARING: Request for final regulation designed to eliminate circumvention of the crab fishing season via the use of fish pots. There were few negative comments from the public and the Commission voted to make the emergency regulation permanent.

12. PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of proposed amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-700-10 et seq., to modify requirements for the use of cull rings in crab pots. As part of this discussion, VIMS scientist Rom Lipcius said the long-awaited proposal for deep water crab sanctuaries in the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay were in the final stages of development. He is working with the various watermen's associations to draw the sanctuary lines. The Commission voted to require that both cull rings be used in the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries effective July 1, 2000. If the sanctuary plan is presented to the Commission and approved earlier than July 1 then the cull ring proposal would be removed.

13. PUBLIC HEARING: Virginia Seafood Council request to introduce non-native oyster, Crassostrea ariakensis to selected sites in Virginia for experimental purposes. The Council said that 3,000 non-native oysters would be used during the on-bottom experiment along with a similar number of native Virginia oysters at six locations--two of high, two of medium and two of low salinity. These sites will be operated by veteran oyster growers. VIMS and VMRC staffers will closely monitor the experiment. The Commission voted to approve the proposal. Commission Members Chadwick Ballard Jr. and S. Lake Cowart Jr., who also are Seafood Council Board Members, did not hear the proposal nor did they vote.

14. REPEAT OFFENDERS. Cases were heard regarding four watermen. One failed to show for the meeting and his license remains suspended. One had his license suspended for 90 days and placed on a two-year probation and one received six months probation. One case was continued until next month because of health reasons.

15. DISCUSSION: Request for public hearing concerning extension of the crab fishery license sales moratorium. The Commission voted to set a public hearing at its May 23 meeting.

16. FAILURE to Report Harvest. One case was continued until next month. In the other case, the person was put on six months probation.

17. BRIEFING: Request by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission to purchase seed oysters from the Piankatank River. The Commission voted to approve the request.

18. DISCUSSION: Request for public hearing to be held at the April meeting regarding proposed regulations for the relaying of non-commercial aquaculture shellfish from condemned shellfish growing areas.

19. EXCEPTION request for black drum permit. The Commission voted to transfer licenses to two watermen and denied the requests of three others for permits in individual votes each.

20. LOUIS S. TAYLOR, JR. requests crab dredge license. Mr. Taylor did not appear and the Commissioner directed that his request be remanded to the Crab Dredge Exception Committee, which meets next October.

21. REVIEW elver harvesting aquaculture permit of S. Willibrordus "Willie" Bokelaar. Mr. Bokelaar asked that his case be continued until next month when his attorney could be present. The Commission voted to continue until its April 25 meeting.

22. PUBLIC COMMENTS.

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