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COMMISSION ACTIONS MARCH 2008

The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held March 25, 2008 at Commission headquarters. The Commission's actions are in bold.

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA. 

1. MINUTES of previous meeting. Approved 8-0, with Associate Commissioner Bowden absent from the meeting.
[ Audio Item 1 ]

2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). Approved unanimously, 8-0.
[ Audio Item 2 ]

3. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS. Unanimously approved eight so-called Page 2 items detailed below, as well as the after-the-fact application by Bulkeley et. al. (#05-1065) as recommended by staff and imposed a $300 permit fee as permitted by Code. 
[ Audio Item 3 ]

4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH OR BRIEFING BY COUNEL. The Commission went into closed meeting to discuss the case of Birchwood Motel Inc. v. MRC that has been remanded by Judge Tyler, Second Judicial Circuit, for rehearing.
[ Audio Item 4 ]

5. VIRGINIA NATURAL GAS, #07-1036, request authorization to install, by the directional drill method, 80 linear feet of natural gas pipeline beneath Newmarket Creek in Hampton and 1,064 linear feet beneath Salter's Creek in Newport News and install, by the directional drill and jetting methods, 21,470 linear feet of pipeline beneath Hampton Roads in Newport News and Portsmouth with four tie-ins resulting in displacement of 211,274 cubic yards of sediment. Continued from the February 26, 2008, meeting. The Commission approved the project as proposed by VNG on a vote of 5-3. Associate Commissioners Fox, Tankard and McConaugha voted no. 
[ Audio Item 5 ]

6. GEORGE DEMARCO, #07-1164, consideration of whether his existing clam aquaculture operations qualify under Regulation Number 4 VAC 20-335-10 ET SEQ "Pertaining to On-bottom Aquaculture Activities." He also seeks after-the-fact authorization to retain a 6-inch raw water intake extending approximately 375 feet channelward of mean high water and authorization to deploy approximately 1300 linear feet of staked netting for predator exclusion purposes, on a seasonal basis, around the perimeter of his 200,000 square foot clam aquaculture grow-out area adjacent to his property situated along Pepper Creek in Mathews County. The Commission voted 6-1, with Associate Commissioner Robins voting no, to approve and grant authorization for Mr. DeMarco's existing clam aquaculture operation, including after-the-fact authorization for an existing raw water intake line. The Commission also subsequently voted 5-2 to authorize the deployment of the cownose ray exclusion net during the period May 15 to November 1. 
[ Audio Item 6 ]

7. JBH LLC, #07-1948, requests authorization to retain a 180-foot long by 5-foot 10-inch wide, private, non-commercial pier with a 40-foot by 20-foot covered platform, a 12-foot 10-inches by 3-foot ramp over a 6-foot by 5-foot platform leading to a 14-foot by 16-foot 8-inches by 14-foot floating platform and a 10-foot by 12-foot floating platform adjacent to property at 475 Wind Mill Point Road situated along the Back River in Hampton. The Commission voted unanimously, 7-0, to grant after-the-fact authorization for Mr. Honeycutt's private pier and open-sided boathouse provided all non-water dependent structures and the two floating piers are removed and the platform is redesigned to create a 20' by 40' open-sided boathouse as proffered no later than 120 days of today's hearing. 
[ Audio Item 7 ]

8. LOCUST HILL INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC, #06-2839, requests authorization to construct a community pier, without wetslips, extending 115 feet channelward of mean high water at an easement over property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner at the end of State Route 634 at the confluence of Whitings Creek and the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County. The pier is intended to serve the owners of the Heron Landing Condominiums and is protested by a nearby resident. The Commission voted 5-1-1, with Associate Commissioner McLeskey abstaining and Tankard voting no, to approve the application in accordance with staff recommendation. 
[ Audio Item 8 ]

9. THOMAS MILAN, #07-1824, Notice of Violation #07-26. Formal Restoration Hearing regarding the unauthorized prop-dredging of approximately 300 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous bottom adjacent to his property in the Pembroke Manor subdivision, situated along Thalia Creek in Virginia Beach. The Commission voted unanimously, 7-0, to impose a civil charge in the amount of $10,000 for Mr. Milan's illegal dredging but granted him until August 31 to remit payment. 
[ Audio Item 9 ]

10. MARJORIE MASEK, #07-2050, requests authorization to remove a deteriorated enclosed boathouse and construct a similarly sized 28-foot by 34-foot enclosed boathouse adjacent to her existing private pier situated along Back Creek in Gloucester County. The Commission voted unanimously, 7-0, to approve Mrs. Masek's request for an enclosed boathouse.
[ Audio Item 10 ]

11. WHITE SAND HARBOUR PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, #07-1956, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain seven (7) 8-foot long by 7-foot wide, open-topped, precast, concrete, hexagonal, offshore breakwater structures and associated support piles, and authorization to replace the remaining existing rectangular breakwater structures with "hexagonal breakwater" structures as needed adjacent to their community property situated adjacent to the Potomac River in Northumberland County. The Commission voted unanimously (7-0) to grant after-the-fact approval and authorized replacement of five broken rectangular breakwater structures with hexagonal structures. The Commission elected to not assess any civil charge but agreed to impose a triple permit fee of $300. The Commission also reiterated that any future work or replacements would require a permit modification. 
[ Audio Item 11 ]

12. SE VENTURES, #07-1698, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain one (1) 117-foot long and two (2) 65-foot long hex-shaped concrete breakwater boxes positioned approximately 65 to 80 feet channelward of mean low water, and to install approximately 1,080 cubic yards of beach quality sand material adjacent to property at Eagle Bay situated along the Potomac River in King George County. The Commission voted 6-0 to grant after-the-fact authorization for the three unpermitted concrete breakwaters as well as authorization to nourish the breakwaters with 1080 cubic yards of beach quality sand material provided the groins were removed first. The Commission did not impose a civil charge or triple permit fee as permitted by Code, and also encouraged Mr. Veasey to undertake onsite monitoring in order to further evaluate the success or impacts of his structures. 
[ Audio Item 12 ]

13. OYSTER PLANTING GROUND APPLICATIONS IN MOBJACK BAY; WILLIAM KENTON CARR, #06-063, SHARON CARR, #06-062, AND SHARON CARR AND KENT CARR #06-064, AND KENT CARR SEAFOOD, CO., #06-065; ALONG WITH A PETITION PURSUANT TO THE CODE OF VIRGINIA, 28.2-632, REQUESTING GROUND IN THE SAME AREA OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED APPLICATIONS BE SET ASIDE AS PUBLIC CLAMMING GROUNDS BY THE COMMISSION. The above-referenced applications are protested by the petitioners and/or others with concerns related to potential conflicts with clamming activities in the area. The Commission voted 5-1, with Associate Commissioner Schick voting no, to grant leases to the Carrs for only those portions of state-owned bottom that had been previously leased in the past. The Commission also moved to leave the remainder of area applied for as vacant and unassigned ground.
[ Audio Item 13 ]

14. PUBLIC COMMENTS:  

Waterman Kent Carr asked that the oyster tong season in the lower James River be extended from its April closing date to the end of June. The Commission took no action on the request.

Also, Hampton resident Tom McDermott protested that the Hampton City Council voted not to change the local ordinance so as to allow neighboring property owners to legally operate a boat within 300 feet of the new Buckroe Pier, which was approved by the Commission in February. Prior to that approval, a city attorney testified that efforts would be made to accommodate neighboring property owners so they could boat from their waterfront property without facing misdemeanor charges. Commission Attorney Carl Josephson suggested this dispute is a matter between property owners and the City of Hampton, and might have to be settled by the courts.
[ Audio Item 14 ]

15. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-752, "Pertaining to Blue Crab Sanctuaries," to close the sanctuary from April 15 through September 15. The current closure is June 1 through September 15. The Commission voted 8-0 to extend the closure dates for the 1,000-plus square acre blue crab sanctuary in the mainstem of the Lower Chesapeake Bay by a month. The sanctuary will be closed from May 1 until September 15, instead of June 1 to September 15. The measure is aimed at protecting female crabs during the spawning season that begins in early May. Also approved for consideration at April's meeting were two additional crab regulations, on top of a series of measures up for action, one for closed seasons for female crabs and the other for bushel limits by either area or season.
[ Audio Item 15 ]

16. PUBLIC HEARING: To accept comments on a proposal of the Virginia Seafood Council to place overboard and to continue investigations of the marketability of the non-native ariakensis oyster. After hearing a lengthy presentation, including the support of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Commission voted 7-0 in a non-binding recommendation for Commissioner Bowman to use his expressly granted authority to approve the application for another Seafood Council study involving 1.3 million sterile ariakensis oysters.
[ Audio Item 16 ]

17. BLUEFISH: Request for May public hearing to establish the 2008 commercial harvest quota. Approved unanimously, 6-0, per staff recommendation.
[ Audio Item 17 ]

18. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE RECREATIONAL FISHING ADVISORY BOARD. Approved unanimously, 6-0.
[ Audio Item 18 ]

19. STRIPED BASS: Review of the 2007 Commercial Fishery ITQ Program. This agenda item was carried over to the April Commission meeting.
[ Audio Item 19 ]

THE FOLLOWING EIGHT SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY AND WITHOUT DISCUSSION:

2A. PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, #08-0012, requests authorization to replace the existing 36-foot long, 25-foot wide, 2-lane, single- span bridge, with a 73-foot long, 94-foot wide, 4-lane single-span bridge with sidewalks impacting 161 linear feet of Little Bull Run associated with Phase 4 Old Carolina Road widening and bridge replacement project. Utility lines will be relocated by directionally boring them a minimum of three (3) feet below the natural creek bed.

2B. PLANTATION PIPE LINE COMPANY, #08-0025, requests permission to install by the directional drill method 1,300 linear feet of 12-inch petroleum pipeline 30 feet beneath Aquia Creek in Stafford County. Staff recommends a royalty of $3,900.00 for the encroachment under 1,300 linear feet of State-owned subaqueous bottom at a rate of $3.00 per square foot. 

2C. CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE AND TUNNEL DISTRICT, #07-2648, requests authorization to place armor rock adjacent to existing trestle bents, tunnel islands, and bridge piers on an as-needed basis over the next five years, as part of a scour protection plan to ensure the continued safe operation of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel connecting the City of Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore. This permit will include activities and construction currently covered under the existing permit #98-0901, which will expire on July 31, 2008. The CBBT District is required to conduct a post-construction monitoring program, initiated immediately after construction and one-year post-construction, which includes a detailed analysis of rock placement and adjacent bathymetry. 

2D. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, #07-2707, requests authorization to replace the log camel fendering system, including the installation of new brackets, 37 pilings, and 18 log camels, adjacent to the pier head and north side of Pier 7 at Naval Station Norfolk, situated along Hampton Roads in the City of Norfolk.

2E. NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, #07-2695, requests authorization to install and backfill approximately 1000 linear feet of steel sheet-pile bulkhead a maximum of 12 feet channelward of existing deteriorated bulkheads within Wet Slip 1 adjacent to Berths 3 and 4, and the head of the wet slip, and to install a 19-pile mooring dolphin adjacent to Berth 3 near the mouth of the wet slip, at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in the City of Portsmouth. The proposed project will also include the temporary removal and then reinstallation of existing floating piers at the head of the wet slip to accommodate construction.

2F. ROANOKE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, #07-2623, requests authorization to conduct a stream restoration/enhancement project on approximately 3,125 linear feet of Mudlick Creek, to include upland bank grading and stabilization, stream channel modifications; and the installation of rock vane structures, riprap bank toe stabilization, a stone wall for bank stabilization, and the select placement of rootwads along Mudlick Creek's bank, all of which is proposed within Garst Mill Park in Roanoke County. In addition, the proposed project includes the installation of a 12-foot wide clear-span bridge to replace an existing stream ford and pedestrian bridge.

2G. SKANSKA USA CIVIL SE, #08-0036, requests authorization to construct 890 linear feet of steel sheet-pile bulkhead two (2) feet channelward of an existing, deteriorated bulkhead and mean low water at their commercial property on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River at 121 South Dominion Boulevard in Chesapeake. Recommend approval with a royalty in the amount of $8,900.00 for the filling of 1,780 square feet of State bottom at a rate of $5.00 per square foot.

2H. CHESAPEAKE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, #08-0231, requests authorization to replace the existing George Washington Highway (Rt. 17) bridge over Deep Creek, with a 144-foot long, 60-foot wide, 4-lane, 2-pier structure, and relocate all associated utility lines (communication, natural gas and power) from the east side of the existing bridge to the west side of the proposed bridge. The utility lines will be directionally drilled a minimum of three (3) feet below the natural creek bed. 

THIS PAGE 3 ITEM WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY AND WITHOUT DISCUSSION.

3A. PETER W. BULKELEY, ET AL, #05-1065, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 5-foot wide by 87-foot long shared-use, non-riparian pier with an 8-foot by 45-foot L-head, an uncovered boat lift, a 5-foot wide finger pier, and associated mooring piles for water access into the Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River from properties in the Robin Hood Forest subdivision in Virginia Beach. The pier currently extends from 2741 Spigel Drive but serves owners of 2735 and 2729 Spigel Drive in accordance with past deeded easements. Recommend a triple permit fee of $300.00 with no civil charge and no royalties as this pier only serves two private properties.


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