1. MINUTES of previous meeting. THE MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER MEETING WERE APPROVED. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS PALMER AND ROBINS ABSTAINED.
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2. PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for
approval). THREE SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 2A, 2B, AND 2C, WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
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5. YANKEE POINT RACING AND CRUISING CLUB, #12-0018, requests Commission reconsideration of their September 25, 2012, decision to approve a
pier extending no longer than 50 feet from mean low water with a 50-foot L-head for transient use by club members with a maximum of nine (9) vessels rafted on
the outboard side of the pier adjacent to the club's leased property on Meyer Creek at 734 Oak Hill Road in Lancaster County.
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST TO EXTEND THE PIER TO A TOTAL LENGTH OF 62 FEET CHANNELWARD OF MEAN LOW WATER WITH
CONDITIONS STIPULATING THAT NO MORE THAN NINE VESSELS MAY BE MOORED TO THE PIER, NO
OUTBOARDOORING PILINGS ARE ALLOWED AND NO MORE THAN TWO VESSELS MAY MOOR ABREAST OF ONE ANOTHER.
A ROYALTY WAS ALSO ASSESSED AT THE RATE OF $1.50 PER SQUARE FOOT FOR THE AREA OCCUPIED BY THE PIER AND A TOTAL OF NINE VESSELS.
MR. GEORGE BOTTSPOKE ON BEHALF OF THE APPLICANT.
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6. DOUG CAMPBELL, #11-1159, requests authorization to install a six-foot wide, private, open pile pier extending 145 feet channelward of mean low water with a 14-foot by 16-foot deck, a 16-foot by 30-foot open-sided boathouse, a 2,500 pound boat lift, and a jet ski lift along Lyons Creek at his property identified as 156 Pasture Road in the City of Poquoson. The project is protested by an adjacent property owner and an oyster lease holder.
THIS ITEM WAS POSTPONED INDEFINITELY AT THE REQUEST OF THE APPLICANT.
7. NANCY D. BALL, #12-0749, requests authorization to construct a single 27-foot long, continuous height, timber jetty, adjacent to a man-made mooring basin situated along Nomini Creek in Westmoreland County.
The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. THE COMMISSION
UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED, WITH A STANDARD ROYALTY ASSESSMENT OF $0.50 PER SQUARE FOOT FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE JETTY ON STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND.
MR. DAVIS BUGG PRESENTED ORAL ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE APPLICATION ON BEHALF OF MS. BALL.
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8. MICHAEL FRANCISCO, #12-1374, requests authorization to replace an existing private pier with a 5-foot wide open pile private pier within a right of way easement extending 44 feet channelward of mean low water, install four mooring piles, and to mechanically dredge 24.5 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous bottom from a 380 square foot area near the end of the proposed pier to lower the depths to minus three (-3) feet at mean low water along an unnamed cove on Milford Haven at 239 Old Ferry Road in Mathews County.
The project is protested by the property owner, through which the applicant has the aforementioned right-of-way easement.
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT WITH SPECIAL CONDITIONS STIPULATING THAT ONLY THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF THE PIER MAY BE DREDGED, THE NEW 5-FOOT WIDE PIER MUST BE CENTERED ALONG THE CENTERLINE OF THE EXISTING PIER, AND NO OUTBOARD MOORING PILINGS SHALL BE INSTALLED.
A STANDARD DREDGING ROYALTY OF $0.45 PER CUBIC YARD WAS ASSESSED FOR THE REMOVAL
STATE-OWNED BOTTOM MATERIAL. MR. RICHARD LANGHORNE PRESENTED ORAL ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT ON BEHALF OF MR. FRANCISCO AND MR. FORREST SPOKE IN OPPOSITION TO THE APPLICATION.
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ROBERT G. SMITH, #12-1301, requests authorization to construct a 72-foot long by 10-foot wide timber commercial pier with four (4) associated piles adjacent to his property situated along Cockrell Creek in Northumberland County.
The project is protested by a nearby property owner. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE
PROJECT IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION, WITH A STANDARD ROYALTY ASSESSMENT OF $2.00 PER SQUARE FOOT FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL PIER OVER STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND.
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COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD PRESENTED FORMER ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER KYLE SCHICK WITH A DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PLAQUE FOR HIS EIGHT YEARS OF LOYAL AND DEDICATED SERVICE ON THE COMMISSION. HE WAS INELIGIBLE FOR REAPPOINTMENT.
MEADE AMORY OF AMORY SEAFOOD ASKED THE COMMISSION TO INCREASE THE DAILY COMMERCIAL FLOUNDER TRIP LIMIT FROM 10,000 TO 12,500 POUNDS WHEN THE COMMERCIAL FLOUNDER SEASON OPENS ON MARCH 4. THE COMMISSION AGREED TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND A VOTE ON THE REQUEST IN FEBRUARY. COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD NOTED SUCH A MOVE WOULD NOT IMPACT THE NUMBER OF FLOUNDER CAUGHT DURING THE SEASON, JUST HOW MANY CAN BE LANDED PER BOAT IN A DAY.
ALSO, COMMERCIAL WATERMAN JOHN FORREST TOLD THE COMMISSION HE FEARS THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH WILL BAN COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN FROM UNLOADING THEIR CATCHES AT THE OWL CREEK BOAT RAMP. COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD ASKED THE STAFF TO LOOK INTO THE MATTER.
LASTLY, COMMERCIAL CLAMMER HANK JONES OBJECTED TO A SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN FEES LEVIED BY THE VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE TO TEST CLAM BROODSTOCK. VIMS REPRESENTATIVE LYLE VARNELL SAID THE INCREASE WAS THE RESULT OF STATE BUDGET CUTS AND NOTED VIMS MAKES NO PROFIT ON THE TESTS.
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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."
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY SUSPENDED THE COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSES OF TWO WATERMEN FOR FAILING
TO REPORT THEIR HARVESTS AS REQUIRED. THE SUSPENSIONS WILL LAST UNTIL THEIR MANDATORY HARVEST REPORTS ARE BROUGHT UP TO DATE AND UNTIL THEY APPEAR BEFORE THE COMMISSION TO EXPLAIN THEIR FAILURE
TO TIMELY FILE THEIR MONTHLY HARVEST REPORTS.
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12. Richard Bradford: Appeal of decision to deny his exception to the two year waiting period for a Commercial Fisherman Registration License.
THE COMMISSION REFUSED TO OVERTURN COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD'S DECISION TO DENY MR. BRADFORD'S REQUEST TO BE EXEMPTED FROM THE TWO YEAR WAITING LIST TO GET A COMMERCIAL FISHING LICENSE.
MR. BRADFORD DID NOT MEET THE LONG ESTABLISHED CRITERION FOR AN EXEMPTION.
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13. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-260-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Designation of Seed Areas and Clean Cull Areas', to revise oyster culling and inspection procedures for Seaside of the Eastern Shore.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ALLOW OYSTERS HARVESTED BY HAND ON THE SEASIDE OF THE ASTERN SHORE TO BE STORED IN BAGS AND SACKS FROM THE TIME THEY ARE HARVESTED UNTIL THEY ARE LOADED INTO OFFICIAL BUSHEL CONTAINERS FOR SALE.
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REQUEST FOR APPROVAL: Of the 2013 Oyster Replenishment Plan. THE COMMISSION VOTED 6-0-1 (WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION ROBINS ABSTAINING) TO APPROVE AN AMBITIOUS AND EXPANSIVE PROGRAM TO PLANT OYSTER SHELLS ON A VARIETY OF PUBLIC OYSTER ROCKS, ANTICIPATING A $2 MILLION INFLUX OF STATE FUNDS AS PART OF GOVERNOR ROBERT MCDONNELL'S PROPOSED 2014 STATE BUDGET.
IF APPROVED BY THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THIS WOULD BE THE LARGEST APPROPRIATION FOR OYSTER REPLENISHMENT IN STATE HISTORY.
EVERY $1 SPENT ON PLANTING OYSTER SHELLS YIELDS $7 IN ECONOMIC BENEFIT WHEN THE OYSTERS GROW TO MARKET SIZE.
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REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY REGULATION: To lower the recreational black sea bass fishery possession limit of 25 fish to 15 fish, through the end of February 2013, to comply with interstate fishery management plan requirements.
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AN EMERGENCY REGULATION TO LOWER THE RECREATIONAL BLACK SEA BASS POSSESSION LIMIT FROM 25 TO 15 FISH, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND LASTING THROUGH FEBRUARY.
THIS WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH AN ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION BLACK SEA BASS FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN.
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REQUEST FOR FEBRUARY PUBLIC HEARING: To establish management measures for the 2013 recreational summer flounder fishery.
THE COMMISSION AGREED TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND A VOTE IN FEBRUARY ON WHETHER TO LOWER THE RECREATIONAL SUMMER FLOUNDER SIZE AND/OR CREEL LIMITS.
THE CURRENT POSSESSION LIMIT IS 16.5 INCHES AND FOUR FISH. UP FOR CONSIDERATION: 16.5 INCHES AND FIVE FISH; 16 INCHES AND FOUR FISH; OR 15.5 INCHES AND FOUR FISH.
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REQUEST FOR FEBRUARY PUBLIC HEARING: To establish a limited entry system for the American shad by-catch allowance fishery that has been capped at 30 permits by the ASMFC.
THE COMMISSION AGREED TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND A VOTE IN FEBRUARY TO ESTABLISH A LIMITED ENTRY SYSTEM CAPPED AT 30 PERMITS FOR PARTICIPANTS IN A
BY CATCH AMERICAN SHAD FISHERY.
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18. LEGISLATION AND PENDING FISHERIES ISSUES. COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD UPDATED THE COMMISSION ON BILLS BEING HEARD BY THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
ALSO, FISHERIES CHIEF ROB O'REILLY BRIEFED THE COMMISSION ON COWNOSE RAY TAGGING AND MARKETING PROJECTS, CHANGES THAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO COMMERCIAL BLUE CRAB BUSHEL LIMIT AND AGENT REGULATIONS FOR THE 2013 SEASON, AND THE STATUS OF AN ONGOING SCIENTIFIC CRAB DREDGE PROJECT.
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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 UNANIMOUSLY:
2A. MICHAEL J.
BOGESE, JR., #11-1574, requests authorization to stabilize approximately 5300 linear feet of shoreline by installing twelve (12) Class II armor stone breakwaters of varying lengths from 70 feet to 100 feet and installing twenty (20) Class II armor stone sill structures of varying length from 40 to 250 feet extending a maximum of 60 feet channelward of mean low water and encroaching 16,723 square feet over State-owned bottom; conduct beach nourishment with 8,468 cubic yards of clean sand material on 55,755 square feet of State-owned bottom; install a 5-foot by 16-foot pedestrian footbridge crossing 9 feet of State-owned bottom and install a 12-foot by 38-foot concrete boat ramp encroaching a maximum of ten (10) feet channelward of mean low water adjacent to his property situated along the James River at 16901 Sandy Point Road in Charles City County.
Staff recommends approval with a royalty in the amount of $120.00 for the encroachment of the concrete boat ramp over 240 square feet of State-owned bottom at a rate of $0.50 per square foot and a royalty in the amount of $1,442.05 for the beach nourishment material filling 28,841 square feet of State-owned bottom at a rate of $0.05 per square foot for a total royalty amount of $1,562.05. A royalty was paid for the additional beach nourishment impacts under permit #09-0228.
2B. ELIZABETH RIVER CROSSINGS OPCO LLC, #11-1116, requests authorization to modify an existing permit, to include relocating proposed temporary marshalling piers and to increase the footprint of the Norfolk pier to 11,600 square feet, to install six (6) additional 36-inch pilings as mooring dolphins and a temporary crane ramp that will extend approximately 35 linear feet channelward of mean low water along the Portsmouth shoreline, and to extend the South Portsmouth dredge support of excavation wall an additional 108 linear feet resulting in additional encroachment over State-owned submerged land to facilitate the construction of an additional tunnel for the Mid-town crossing as part of the U.S. Route 58 Downtown Tunnel/Mid-town Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Expansion Project across the Elizabeth River between the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth.
2C. LOUDOUN COUNTY SANITATION AUTHORITY, #10-2020, requests authorization to install a water intake structure and associated piping encroaching upon 15,200 square feet of subaqueous bottom, the mechanical excavation of 4,500 cubic yards of subaqueous bottom, and the placement of a temporary coffer dam encompassing 66,200 square feet of subaqueous bottom in the Potomac River and to install a 48-inch raw water line under 29 linear feet of Tuscarora Creek, install a 48-inch raw water line under 40 linear feet of Sycolin Creek, install two (2) 48-inch raw water lines under 149 linear feet of Goose Creek, a 48-inch finished water line under 253 linear feet of Goose creek, and install a 17-foot wide open span bridge crossing over 34 linear feet of Sycolin Creek for the Potomac River Water Supply Project in Loudoun County.
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THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY, WITH THE COMMISSION WAIVING THE $1,000 CIVIL CHARGE:
3A. LYNNHAVEN RIVER INVESTMENTS LLC, #12-0375, requests a permit modification to retain the open-pile wharf decking and accompanying handrail, constructed in the permitted footprint but 1.5 feet higher in elevation, to be used as additional restaurant floor space for the commercial establishment known as The Marlin Club, located at 2149 Vista Circle, situated along Long Creek in Virginia Beach. The applicants have agreed to a $1,000.00 civil charge in lieu of further enforcement action.