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COMMISSION ACTIONS MARCH 2007

The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held March 27, 2007 at Commission headquarters. The Commission's actions are in bold.

1. MINUTES of previous meeting.  The Commission voted, 8-0-1, to approve the minutes; Mr. Schick abstained because he was not at the February meeting..

2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). The Commission voted, 9-0, to approve the permits. Item 2-C had been removed.

3. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL:   The Commission went into Closed Meeting to discuss legal matters with Counsel. Specifically discussed was the recent Court decision in the case of Harrison v. Marine Resources Commission.  [ Audio Items 1-3 ]

4. CONSOL VIRGINIA COAL COMPANY, #05-2233, requests authorization to construct a diffuser outfall to facilitate the discharge of mine water from its Buchanan Mine Number 1 into the Levisa Fork in Buchanan County. The project is protested by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors, the Town of Grundy, the Sierra Club and nearby residents. The Commission voted, 5-0, with Mrs. Fox, Robins, Tankard and Schick abstaining because they did not attend the earlier public hearing, to approve the project in accordance with the staff recommendation.
[ Audio Item 4 ]

5. ROBERT B. HART, ET AL, #06-1551. Commission review of the Prince William County Wetland Board's November 14, 2006 decision to approve the installation of 355 linear feet of vinyl bulkhead, and to grant after-the-fact authorization for the installation of 90 linear feet of gabion basket retaining wall and the placement of fill over approximately 3,550 square feet of tidal wetlands adjacent to two properties situated along Quantico and Swans Creeks in Prince William County.  The Commission voted, 8-1, to withdraw the Commission’s review finding that the Prince William County Wetlands Board, in reaching their decision, had adequately fulfilled their responsibilities under the model wetlands zoning ordinance.  [ Audio Item 5 ]

6. RONALD C. WOODS, #07-0196. Request by 26 freeholders of property in Northampton County for Commission review of the February 21, 2007 decision of the Northampton County Wetlands and Dunes Board to approve the installation of 120 linear feet of stone riprap extending onto the beach at his property situated along the Chesapeake Bay in the Latimers Bluff area of Northampton County. The Commission voted, 9-0, to uphold the decision of the wetlands and dunes board, finding that their decision to approve the permit was supported by the evidence on the record considered as a whole.  [ Audio Item 6 ]

7. ALISON E. MORRISON, #07-0197. Request by 26 freeholders of property in Northampton County for Commission review of the February 21, 2007 decision of the Northampton County Wetlands and Dunes Board to approve the installation of 120 linear feet of stone riprap extending onto the beach at her property situated along the Chesapeake Bay in the Latimers Bluff area of Northampton County. The Commission voted, 9-0, to uphold the decision of the wetlands and dunes board, finding that their decision to approve the permit was supported by the evidence on the record considered as a whole. [ Audio Item 7 ]

8. MARINE HYDRAULICS INCORPORATED, #04-1984, requests modification of their previously issued permit to include dredging, using either clamshell or hydraulic methods, 5,400 cubic yards of State-owned submerged lands within a 130-foot by 140-foot basin to create maximum depths of minus ten (–10) feet below mean low water adjacent to their property situated along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. The project is protested by nearby property owners. The Commission voted, 9-0, to approve the project as proposed, but with certain conditions related to a pre-dredge conference and post-dredge bathymetric survey and royalties, as recommended by staff.  [ Audio Item 8 ]

9. VALIANT VENTURES, #06-1022, requests authorization to construct a 150-foot long by 6-foot wide community pier with a 6-foot by 128-foot T-head platform with five 32-foot long by 4-foot wide finger piers with 10 boat slips with lifts for a future condominium association adjacent to property situated along the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. The Commission voted, 7-2, to approve a seven-slip community facility conditioned on the recordation of the necessary deed restrictions to prohibit the construction of private non-commercial piers by the three waterfront riparian lot owners, and the assessment of the appropriate royalty for the resulting encroachment over state-owned submerged land.  [ Audio Item 9 ]

10. MARGARET BLEVINS, #07-0139, requests authorization to install 205 linear feet of timber bulkhead flanked with riprap protection at the property lines, and to install three (3) low-profiles, timber groins extending 48 feet channelward of mean high water, adjacent to her property situated along Portobago Bay in Caroline County. Both Wetlands and Subaqueous permits are required. With the applicant’s agreement to move a 30-foot section of the bulkhead landward five (5) feet, the Commission found that the bulkhead in its entirety was landward of mean high water and landward of all non-vegetated tidal wetlands. The Commission then voted 9-0 to approve the three (3) low-profile groins, but required that the groins be pre-filled, or nourished with suitable material upon completion, to minimize any adverse impacts to the adjacent, downdrift properties. Revised drawings reflecting these conditions are required.  [ Audio Item 10 ]

11. SHAH HEMANG AND APURVA PATEL, #06-0263, request after-the-fact approval of a previously constructed, and unauthorized expansion of a T-head pier deck from 10-foot by 20-foot to 20-foot by 21.5-foot at the applicants properties situated along the Nansemond River at 409 and 411 Blue Heron Point in the City of Suffolk. The Commission voted 8-0-1 to approve the after-the-fact permit request, but imposed a civil charge in the amount of $1200.00 on the agent/contractor in lieu of further enforcement, as recommended by staff.  [ Audio Item 11 ]

12. PUBLIC COMMENTS:  The Commission voted 7-0-2 for a public hearing to be held in April to consider an industry request that they be allowed to have 2 Inshore Conch Permits with 2 Commercial Fishermen Cards on board a vessel, thereby, doubling their catch limit.

As the result of an industry request, the Commission decided to have the Aquaculture Industry members meet with staff to clarify the new Aquaculture License Requirements.

  [ Audio Item 12 ]

13. PUBLIC HEARING: Amendments to Regulations 4 VAC 20-670-10 et seq. and 4 VAC 20-430-10 et seq., concerning the use of anchored gill nets, licensed for recreational purposes and set in areas above the saltwater-freshwater recreational license boundary lines on the James, York and Rappahannock rivers. The Commission voted, 9-0, to approve the regulations’ amendments.  
[ Audio Item 13 ]

14. PUBLIC HEARING: Planned construction of a new artificial recreational fishing reef (Bluefish Rock), to be centered 3.2 nautical miles E.S.E. of the Grand View section of Hampton. The Commission voted, 9-0, to continue the discussion on the reef until its May 22nd meeting.  

15. PUBLIC HEARING: Amend Regulation 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq. to establish the 2007 commercial bluefish quota, as 1,018,660 pounds. The Commission voted, 9-0, to amend the regulation.

16. PUBLIC HEARING: Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Black Sea Bass.” Consideration of alternate methods for allocation of the 2007 commercial harvest quota between directed and by-catch fisheries. The Commission voted, 9-0, to amend the regulation. [ Audio Items 14, 15, 16 ]

17. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed adoption of February 27, 2007 emergency amendments to Regulations 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq. and 4 VAC 20-300-10 et seq., as permanent parts of these regulations. Amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 extend the lawful crab pot and peeler pot season from March 17 through November 30, establish a daily time limit of 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the March 17 through March 31 period, and prohibit the placing, setting or fishing of any fish pot in tidal waters from March 12 through March 16, except in defined upriver areas. The amendment to Regulation 4 VAC 20-300-10 et seq. extends the 51-bushel (17-barrel) possession limit from March 17 through May 31 for vessels taking or catching crabs by crab pot. The Commission voted, 9-0, to adopt the emergency amendments as permanent regulation.  [ Audio Item 17 ]

18. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendment to Regulation 4 VAC 20-370-10 et seq., to repeal the prohibition on harvest and possession of dark (any shade of brown through black coloration) sponge crabs and establish an additional blue crab sanctuary in an area that extends out to the 3-Mile Limit Line, from off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, thence southward along the Virginia Beach coast to the Virginia-North Carolina Line (Regulation 4 VAC 20-752-10 et seq.). The Commission voted, 8-0, to defer action on the issue and re-advertise the proposals for its April 24th meeting.   [ Audio Item 18 ]

19. FAILURE TO REPORT COMMERCIAL HARVEST, in accordance with mandatory reporting requirements of Regulation 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq. Both of the watermen failed to show at the meeting and remain suspended.

20. REQUEST FOR APRIL PUBLIC HEARING: Establish conservation measures for Sheepshead, to include a 4-fish recreational possession limit and a commercial hook-and-line possession limit of 500 pounds. The Commission voted, 8-0, to set a public hearing for its April 24th meeting.

21. REQUEST FOR APRIL PUBLIC HEARING: To amend Regulation 4 VAC 20-900-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Horseshoe Crab”, to establish a definition for male horseshoe crabs, a permitting and reporting system (call-in) for buyers of horseshoe crabs. The Commission voted, 7-0-1, Robins abstaining, to set a public hearing for its April 24th meeting.

22. REQUEST FOR APRIL PUBLIC HEARING: To amend Regulation 4 VAC 20-890-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Channeled Whelk”, to modify the definition of a bait bag and establish a permitting and reporting system for buyers of channeled whelk. The Commission voted, 7-0-1, Robins abstaining, to set a public hearing for its April 24th meeting.

23. REQUEST FOR APRIL PUBLIC HEARING: To establish recreational and commercial possession limits for blueline tilefish and grouper species landed in Virginia. The Commission voted, 8-0, to set a public hearing for its April 24th meeting.

24. REQUEST FOR APRIL PUBLIC HEARING: Request a revision of the May 1 through October 30 possession-limit on spiny dogfish to 3,000 pounds, from 600 pounds. The Commission voted, 8-0, to set a public hearing for its April 24th meeting.
[ Audio Items 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 ]


PAGE 2 ITEMS
(Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval)


2A. HENRY COUNTY PUBLIC SERVICE AUTHORITY, #07-0344, requests authorization to install a submerged waterline, by directional bore method, beneath Marrowbone Creek and Jordan Creek to provide potable water to area residents in the Chestnut Knob/Ridgeway section of Henry County.

2B. CSX TRANSPORTATION, #03-1647, requests a modification to reduce the requirement to mitigate for the previously proposed loss of 1.743 acres of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to reflect the actual, constructed loss of 0.21 acres of SAV resulting from the construction of two (2) temporary stone causeways and the dredging of 18.5 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material from a 500 square foot area adjacent to the previously authorized railroad crossing of Quantico Creek in Prince William County. The applicant proposes to donate $10,000 to the VMRC Habitat Improvement Fund, to be earmarked for use in a SAV restoration project in the Potomac River Watershed, if their SAV restoration efforts do not meet the success criteria outlined in their revised SAV mitigation plan, as determined by their final report due to the VMRC no later than November 1, 2008.

(REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION) 2C. HIGGERSON-BUCHANAN, INC., #06-2845,requests authorization to dredge 13,700 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous bottom to create a 550-foot long by 130 foot wide (maximum) barge unloading berth with maximum depths of minus fourteen (-14) feet at mean low water, and install one (1) 7-pile cluster dolphin at the confluence of Mains Creek and the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, located adjacent to their commercial property at 5300 Bainbridge Boulevard in Chesapeake. The dredged material will be removed mechanically and disposed of in their adjacent upland property. Recommend approval with a royalty in the amount of $6,165.00 for the new dredging of State bottom at a rate of $0.45 per cubic yard and $200.00 for the encroachment of the dolphin over 100 square feet of State bottom at a rate of $2.00 per square foot.

2D. ALEXANDRIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, #07-0235, requests authorization to annually mechanically maintenance dredge 50,000 cubic yards of accumulated silt, sand, and gravel from five (5) flood control channels, Cameron Run, Holmes Run, Backlick Run, Hooffs Run, and Four Mile Run, to return them to their original design configuration in the City of Alexandria. Staff recommends a 5-year permit with the requirement for a post-dredge bathymetric survey being submitted for staff review after each dredging cycle.

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