The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held October 25, 2005 at Commission headquarters. The Commission's action is in bold.
1. MINUTES of previous meeting. The Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the minutes.
2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). The Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the Page Two permits as recommended. Item #2F (Danville Division of Power and Light) was removed due to an unresolved protest.
3. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL. The Commission heard a briefing by counsel regarding the Virginia Seafood Council's non-native oyster project and the status of a contested habitat case.
4. STEVE WHITE, #05-1558. Commission review of the September 19, 2005, decision of the Westmoreland County Wetlands Board to approve the installation of 147 linear feet of timber bulkhead, including return walls, no more than two feet channelward of an existing deteriorated bulkhead; the installation of 132 linear feet of riprap revetment; and the installation of 125 linear feet of marsh toe stabilization, adjacent to his property situated along Nomini Creek in Westmoreland County. The Commission voted, 8-0, to remand the case to the Westmoreland County Wetlands Board.
5. PORTOBAGO BAY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, #05-1546, requests authorization to install and backfill 120 linear feet of timber bulkhead with return wall, encroaching over tidal wetlands, adjacent to their community lot situated along Portobago Bay in Caroline County. Commission Wetlands Permit required. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the staff recommendation of riprap at the site, rather than a timber bulkhead. The permit will be approved upon receipt of drawings acceptable to the staff.
6. JOE MCCLURE, #05-1679, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 12-foot by 12-foot shelter on a previously authorized private pier adjacent to property situated along Chisman Creek in York County. The Commission voted, 8-0, to require the removal of the structure's roof within 60 days.
7. DISCUSSION: Consideration of appropriate enforcement measures to compel compliance in the case of Charles S. Bedford Jr., VMRC #05-0717. The Commission voted, 7-0-1 with Mr. Garrison abstaining, to grant Mr. Bedford an additional 30 days to remove the structure. If no action is taken, the Commission will immediately refer the matter to the Office of the Virginia Attorney General for enforcement.
8. PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of changes to the Commission's Subaqueous Guidelines. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the changes.
9. DISCUSSION: Updating the Commission's Royalty Schedule and a request for Public Hearing. The Commission voted, 8-0, to set a public hearing for its November 22nd meeting.
10. SPECIAL PRESENTATION: S. Lake Cowart, Jr., recently retired Associate Commission member was recognized for his 9 years of service.
11. PUBLIC COMMENTS: Several watermen made comments.
12. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-252, "Pertaining to Striped Bass". The Commission voted, 6-2, NOT to ban temporary transfers of striped bass tags; voted, 8-0, to initiate a two-tag system that would require 50 percent of the tags held by each fisherman to be used on small 18-28-inch fish; voted, 8-0, to approve all of the compliance measures offered with the tagging program; and voted, 8-0, to establish a maximum gill net mesh size at 9-inches for November 2005 through February 2006.
13. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-650, "Pertaining to the Establishment of Oyster Management Areas", to define the boundaries of the Wreck Shoal-James River Oyster Management Area. The Commission voted, 7-0, to make permanent the emergency regulation adopted at its October meeting. The boundaries were changed at the recommendation of watermen and would more clearly put them in relation to existing landmarks. The change also would open an area to hand tonging that was not previously open.
14. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-950, "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass". The Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the amendment, which would allow for directed permit holders to authorize an alternate vessel to land black sea bass on their quota without them being on board the vessel.
15. PUBLIC HEARING: Virginia Seafood Council requests the Commission deploy 10,000 triploid (sterile) Crassostrea ariakensis oysters on state-owned bottomlands in the Piankatank river. According to legislation adopted by the 2005 Virginia General Assembly, the Commissioner of Marine Resources was given the responsibility of deciding whether and when non-native oysters should be put on state-owned bottomlands. Therefore, the Commission, acting in an advisory capacity, voted, 7-1, to urge the Commissioner to proceed with the project. The Commissioner cannot act for at least 30 days, but must make a decision within 60 days of today's public hearing.
16. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-490, "Pertaining to Sharks". The Commission voted, 8-0, to set a public hearing for its November meeting.
THE COMMISSION DECIDED TO HOLD ITS NOVEMBER MEETING AT THE REGULAR DATE, NOV. 22, 2005, BUT MOVED ITS DECEMBER MEETING ONE WEEK EARLIER TO TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2005
PAGE 2 ITEMS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval; Approved in Item 2)
2A. HENRICO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, #04-2089, requests a modification
to their existing permit to allow for an additional 15 linear feet of riprap
scour protection for their proposed replacement of the Hungary Road bridge over
the North Run in Henrico County.
2B. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, #05-1548, requests authorization to install 4732 linear feet of bulkhead no greater than two (2) feet in front of an existing deteriorated bulkhead adjacent to their property situated along Jones Creek, Hampton Roads, and the Hampton River in Hampton.
2C. CITY OF NORFOLK, #05-1991, requests authorization to replace the Brambleton Street Bridge and existing 12" suspended waterline with a new 680-foot long by 91-foot wide bridge with associated railings and lights and 16" suspended waterline over Smith Creek/The Hague in Norfolk.
2D. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, #05-1115, requests authorization to maintenance dredge, by the clamshell method and on an as-needed basis, 515,000 cubic yards of State-owned submerged lands to maintain depths from -15 feet below mean low water and -51 feet below mean low water, all berths and basins at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, St. Helena's Annex and Southgate Annex on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and to maintenance dredge a 1500-foot long by 50-foot wide channel to maintain a maximum depth of -5 feet below mean low water within Paradise Creek, in Norfolk and Portsmouth.
2E. CITY OF HAMPTON, #05-1121, requests authorization to maintenance dredge 12,000 cubic yards and remove 5,000 cubic yards of new material, by either hydraulic or clamshell method and on an as-needed basis, to obtain maximum depths of -9 feet below mean low water from a 420-foot long channel ranging in width from 70 to 100 feet within Salt Ponds and a 330-foot long by 100-foot wide entrance channel in the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton. All material will be placed above mean low water on the adjacent City of Hampton public beach.
NEXT MEETING: November 22, 2005