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COMMISSION ACTIONS JANUARY 24, 2012

ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS LED A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR THE PASSING OF FORMER COMMISSION MEMBER WAYNE MCLESKEY, WHO DIED ON JANUARY 6.

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO APPROVE THE MEETING AGENDA WITH THE ADDITION OF ITEM 19, A REPEAT OFFENDER CASE.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE WAS ABSENT FROM THE MEETING.
[Audio Agenda

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER MEETING WERE APPROVED 8-0.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEMS 2A AND 2B, WERE APPROVED 8-0.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHESE TWO CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEMS 3A AND 3B, WERE APPROVED 8-0.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.
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5.  LAWRENCE GREY, #11-1518, requests authorization to construct a 300-linear foot riprap revetment channelward of an eroding bluff extending 10-feet over jurisdictional beach adjacent to his property situated along the James River at 13901 Weyanoke Road in Charles City County.  Deferred from the December 6, 2011, Commission meeting.  THIS MATTER WAS DEFERRED UNTIL THE COMMISSION'S FEBRUARY MEETING AT THE REQUEST OF THE APPLICANT.
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6.  MARTIN CHAMBERLAIN, #11-1047, requests authorization to install a 155 linear foot marsh toe sill with a 10-foot base width, adjacent to his property situated along the Great Wicomico River in Northumberland County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE APPLICATION 8-0, PER STAFF RECOMMENDATION.
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7.  BRUCE WOOD, #11-1325, requests authorization to deploy 117 3-foot long by 2.5-foot wide commercial oyster floats secured by helical screw anchors, galvanized chain and polypropylene rope over his leased ground at two locations in Nomini Creek in Westmoreland County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THIS OYSTER AQUACULTURE OPERATION ON A VOTE OF 7-0 AND STIPULATED THAT NONE OF THE FLOATING OYSTER CAGES MAY BE SET IN FRONT OF AN ADJACENT NEIGHBOR'S SPECIFIED PARCEL OF PROPERTY, IN ADDITION TO SEVEN OTHER CONDITIONS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF.
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8. PUBLIC COMMENTS.  PAIGE HOGGE REQUESTED THAT THE COMMISSION ENACT AN EMERGENCY REGULATION TO ALLOW OYSTER HARVEST AREA 8 ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER TO CONTINUE THROUGH FEBRUARY.  THE AREA IS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE AT THE END OF JANUARY.  THE COMMISSION DECLINED, DECIDING IT WAS NOT AN EMERGENCY.
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9. PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish the 2012 by-catch allowance of American shad, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-530-10 et seq., "Pertaining to American Shad".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE A BY-CATCH ALLOWANCE FOR AMERICAN SHAD, AS ALLOWED BY THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION.
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10. PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish an additional measurement device of the Virginia standard oyster bushel, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-260-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Designation of Seed and Clean Cull Areas".  THE COMMISSION GAVE FINAL APPROVAL, 7-0, TO ALLOW WATERMEN TO USE AN ALTERNATIVE, CHEAPER, OYSTER TUB, AS PERMITTED BY A NEW STATE LAW.
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11. PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish separate commercial management measures for Golden tilefish, Blueline tilefish, and Sand tilefish, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-1120-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Tilefish and Grouper".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE NEW COMMERCIAL TILEFISH HARVEST REGULATIONS.  THE COMMISSION SET A 500 POUND COMBINED VESSEL TRIP LIMIT FOR TILEFISH, WITH A MAXIMUM OF 200 POUNDS OF THAT LIMIT TO BE BLUELINE TILEFISH.  THE LANDING OF GOLDEN TILEFISH WILL BE SUBJECT TO FEDERAL CLOSURE REQUIREMENTS.
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12. REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY REGULATION:  Raise the Winter I commercial scup possession and landing limit from 30,000 pounds to 50,000 pounds, as part of Chapter 4VAC-20-910-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Scup (Porgy)".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO RAISE THE COMMERCIAL LANDING LIMIT FOR SCUP FROM 30,000 TO 50,000 POUNDS, EFFECTIVE AT THE END OF JANUARY.
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13. ANDREW STURGIS:   Decision on his request to establish four pound nets in Bay-side waters of the Eastern shore.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THREE OF THE FOUR POUND NETS SOUGHT BY THE APPLICANT, AND MOVED THE LOCATIONS OF TWO OF THEM SLIGHTLY IN ORDER TO PRESERVE SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION IN THE AREAS OFF THE EASTERN SHORE.
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14. FAILURE TO REPORT:  Cases involving failure to report commercial harvests, in accordance with Chapter 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting".  A COMMERCIAL WATERMAN'S LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED FOR TWO YEARS AFTER ADMITTING HE WAS FISHING AN ILLEGALLY LARGE NUMBER OF CRAB POTS.  TWO OTHER WATEMEN WERE PUT ON ONE-YEAR EACH OF PROBATION FOR FAILING TO FILE TIMELY CATCH REPORTS, AS REQUIRED.
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15. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish the 2012 recreational summer flounder measures, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-620-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Summer Flounder".  THE COMMISSION SIGNALED ITS WILLINGNESS TO CONSIDER LOWERING THE RECREATIONAL FLOUNDER SIZE LIMIT FOR ANOTHER YEAR, AND VOTED 7-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE ON THE MATTER IN FEBRUARY.
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16. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Revise the requirements associated with registration of the Fisherman Identification Program, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-1240-10 et seq., "Fisherman Identification Program".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE IN FEBRUARY TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CHANGE TO THE FISHERMAN IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM REGULATIONS.  THE FIP REQUIRES REGISTRATION OF SALTWATER ANGLERS WHO ARE EXEMPTED BY LAW FROM HAVING TO BUY A SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE.
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17. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish the 2012 commercial horseshoe crab quota, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-900-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crab".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE IN FEBRUARY TO ESTABLISH THE 2012 COMMERCIAL HORSESHOE CRAB REGULATIONS.
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18. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish the 2012 commercial black sea bass directed and by-catch fisheries' harvest quotas, as part of Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE IN FEBRUARY TO ESTABLISH THE 2012 COMMERCIAL BLACK SEA BASS REGULATIONS.
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19. REPEAT OFFENDER:  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO SUSPEND A RECREATIONAL ANGLER'S FISHING LICENSE FOR TWO YEARS DUE TO A REPEAT CONVICTION FOR POSSESSION OF AN ILLEGAL NUMBER OF COBIA.  HE WAS CONVICTED AFTER THE VIRGINIA MARINE POLICE CAUGHT HIM LAST SUMMER WITH SIX COBIA STASHED IN A HIDDEN COMPARTMENT ON HIS BOAT.  ONE PER DAY PER PERSON IS THE LIMIT.
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THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED 8-0:

2A. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH, #11-1201, requests authorization to mechanically dredge approximately 100,000 cubic yards of State-owned submerged bottom to achieve maximum navigable depths of minus six (-6) feet mean low water in the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River municipal channel.  Dredged material will be offloaded at the City's Thalia Creek transfer facility and transported by sealed trucks to the Whitehurst Borrow Pit for disposal.  Staff recommends approval with time-of-year restrictions north of Hebden Cove for dredging between April 1 and June 30 to protect juvenile summer flounder, and for dredging between July 1 and September 30 to protect shellfish resources.

2B. COVE POINT CONDOMINIUMS, #05-2207, requests authorization to convert their existing permit's annual royalty payment into a one-time final royalty payment.  In 2006, the Commission approved the request to fill and encroach over State-owned bottomlands of Little Neck Creek in Virginia Beach, including an annual royalty of $4,025.55 representing 1/10th of $40,255.50.  At the time of Commission approval in 2006, permits with royalty amounts exceeding $10,000.00 were assessed annual royalty payments at a value of 1/10th the total royalty amount.  Having paid the annual royalty amount for six (6) years, the Permittee would like the option of paying the remaining balance of the royalty if the assessment had been a one-time payment as we now typically assess. Staff recommends that the Commission accept the Permittee's offer of a final royalty payment of $16,102.20, as it will complete the entire original royalty amount. 

THE FOLLOWING TWO PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WERE WERE APPROVED 8-0:   

3A. CARLENE SAVEDGE, #10-0688, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain 110 linear feet of riprap in front of an existing bulkhead, a 40-foot long by 12-foot wide riprap revetment, and a 107 linear foot marsh toe sill as part of a living shoreline adjacent to her property at 113 East Sherwood Avenue situated along Mill Creek in the City of Hampton.  Staff recommends approval with triple permit fees and a civil charge of $600.00 from the contractor.

3B. RICHARD MEREDITH, et al, #11-1191, requests authorization to retain an existing 3-foot wide by 32-foot long private non-commercial pier, including a 5-foot by 19-foot L-head, serving as a second pier for 3048 Sand Bend Road in the Back Bay Meadows subdivision, situated along Back Bay in Virginia Beach.  Staff recommends after-the-fact approval with a triple permit fee of $300.00. 


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