The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held
March 29, 2011 at Commission headquarters. The Commission's actions are in bold.
** APPROVAL OF AGENDA. THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER CARTER FOX ABSENT FROM THE MEETING, TO APPROVE THE MEETING AGENDA, AFTER PULLING ITEM #6 (RUDOLF B. WENLEDER, #10-1783) BECAUSE THE PROTEST HAS BEEN RESOLVED AND THE MATTER CAN BE HANDLED ADMINISTRATIVELY.
1. MINUTES of previous meeting. THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER J.T. HOLLAND ABSTAINING, TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING.
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2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for
approval). THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL, WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINED ON ITEMS 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, AND 2O.
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4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL. NONE.
5. GARY STULL, #10-0587. Commission review on appeal by the applicant of the Norfolk Wetland Board's February 9, 2011, decision to deny the replacement of 148 linear feet of bulkhead and return walls adjacent to the applicant's property situated along a man-made canal off the North Branch of the Lafayette River in the City of Norfolk.
THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS VOTING NO, TO REMAND THE CASE BACK TO THE NORFOLK WETLAND BOARD WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO FURTHER CONSIDER THE BOARD'S JURISDICTION IN THE MATTER.
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6. RUDOLF B. WENLEDER #10-1783, requests authorization to construct an 18-foot by 38-foot open-sided boathouse over an existing boatlift near the channelward end of his existing private, noncommercial, open-pile pier situated along the Ware River at 5595 White Hall Road in Gloucester County. The project is protested by the adjoining property
owners. THIS AGENDA ITEM WAS PULLED FROM CONSIDERATION BECAUSE THE PROTEST HAS BEEN RESOLVED AND THE MATTER CAN BE HANDLED ADMINISTRATIVELY.
7. GAMESA ENERGY USA, LLC, #11-0220, requests authorization to conduct geological coring, sampling and assessment of geotechnical conditions, and to set acoustic doppler current profilers on the seabed within a study area in the lower Chesapeake Bay, west of Northampton County to determine the feasibility for the installation of a single 5 MW offshore wind turbine prototype.
The sampling, coring, geotechnical and current assessment, consisting of grab samples, 4 inch diameter vibracores and 6 inch diameter borings, will support site constructability verification, foundation design, environmental conditions assessment, and the regulatory permit review for the turbine and buried cable route that will be the subject of a future application based on the selected site.
The study area is located approximately three (3) miles west of the Town of Cape Charles and covers approximately 1.2 square miles with an additional cable corridor leading from the Study Area into and south of Cape Charles Harbor.
The center of Study Area One is N 37º14'55.00", W 76º04'35.6". THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO APPROVE GEOLOGICAL SAMPLING OF THE IDENTIFIED SITE IN ORDER TO DETERMINE ITS SUITABILITY FOR A PROTOTYPE 5 MEGAWATT WIND TURBINE GENERATOR.
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8. BUBBA'S MARINA, Notice To Comply #11-01. Consideration of the request by Dimitrios Hionis to allow the placement of tables and chairs, including a bar/counter, and on-premises consumption of food, beer, wine and mixed beverages on the previously authorized deck constructed over State-owned submerged land. VMRC permit #01-1979 and the accompanying Declaration of Restrictive Covenant authorized the construction of the deck only as a commercial wharf to accommodate an open-pile building for a proposed wholesale/retail fish market and seafood unloading dock as proffered by
Mr. Hionis in 2004. THE COMMISSION VOTED 6-1, WITH COMMISSIONER BOWMAN VOTING NO AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER PLUMLEE RECUSING HIMSELF, TO ORDER THE REMOVAL OF NON-PERMITTED RESTAURANT- AND BAR-RELATED EQUIPMENT ON THE DECK, BUT AGREED TO DELAY THE ORDER FOR SIX MONTHS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ENOUGH TIME FOR MR. HIONIS TO OBTAIN ALL NECESSARY CITY PERMITS AND TO FILE A COMPLETE AFTER-THE-FACT APPLICATION WITH THE COMMISSION FOR A SUBSEQUENT COMMISSION HEARING.
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MICHAEL H. GIBSON, #2010-003S, requests authorization to lease approximately six (6) acres of Oyster Planting Ground in Powells Bay near Ballast Narrows on the seaside of Accomack County.
The application is protested by Mark A. Bowden, an adjacent oyster ground leaseholder.
THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO DENY THE LEASE APPLICATION.
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10. MARK A. BOWDEN, #2010-040S, requests authorization to lease approximately six (6) acres of Oyster Planting Ground in Powells Bay near Ballast Narrows, Accomack County.
The application is for the same area applied for by Michael H. Gibson. THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO APPROVE THE LEASE APPLICATION.
11. PUBLIC COMMENTS. AT THE REQUEST OF THE SEAFOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY, THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION ROBINS ABSTAINING, TO APPROVE AN EMERGENCY REGULATION TO ALLOW COMMERCIAL FLOUNDER TRAWLERS TO OFF-LOAD PRODUCT UP TO 9 P.M. UNLOADING MUST BE COMPLETE BY THAT TIME.
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12. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-280-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Speckled Trout and Red Drum", to modify possession and size limits for Speckled Trout taken during the winter season, December 1 through March 31. THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO REDUCE THE RECREATIONAL DAILY SPECKLED TROUT POSSESSION LIMIT FROM 10 TO 5 FISH FROM DEC. 1 TO MARCH 31, AND ALLOW ONLY ONE OF THOSE FISH TO BE 24 INCHES OR GREATER DURING THAT TIME FRAME. THE MOVE WAS AN EFFORT TO PRESERVE A WORLD-CLASS SPECKLED TROUT FISHERY CENTERED IN THE HOT DITCH OF THE ELIZABETH RIVER.
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HORSESHOE CRABS: Request for public hearing to establish the 2011 commercial fishery quota and other harvest control measures.
THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION ROBINS RECUSING HIMSELF, TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING IN APRIL TO ESTABLISH THE 2011 COMMERCIAL HORSESHOE CRAB QUOTA AND OTHER HARVEST CONTROL MEASURES.
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14. SHELLFISH HARVEST IN WARM WATER MONTHS: Request for public hearing for amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-1230 et seq, "Pertaining To Restrictions on Shellfish" to clarify the use of ice during the warm water months, and other measures.
THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING IN APRIL TO CLARIFY WARM WATER SHELLFISH HARVEST REQUIREMENTS IN THE JAMES RIVER.
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15. BLUE CRAB: Review and Update. FISHERIES CHIEF JACK TRAVELSTEAD BRIEFED THE COMMISSION ON IMPENDING BLUE CRAB MANAGEMENT ISSUES, INCLUDING THE UPCOMING RESULTS OF THE WINTER CRAB CENSUS SURVEY, A NEW SCIENTIFIC STOCK ASSESSMENT NOW UNDERGOING PEER REVIEW, AND A CAPACITY STUDY CONDUCTED BY DR. JAMES KIRKLEY OF THE VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE. DR. KIRKLEY SPOKE ABOUT HIS FINDINGS.
IN ADDITION, THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO ADVERTISE FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS APRIL MEETING TO ADJUST THE CRAB SANCTUARY BOUNDARY IN THE NORTHERN NECK AND TO DELAY THE CLOSURE OF THE SANCTUARY UNTIL MAY 15, FROM THE USUAL CLOSING DATE OF MAY 1.
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THE FOLLOWING 15 SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $50,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINED ON ITEMS 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, AND 2O:
2A. DOMINION POWER, #11-0064, requests authorization to replace a buried 35kV power cable west of the Route 223 Bridge between Gwynns Island and the mainland of Mathews County including an area removed from Public Oyster Ground pursuant to Senate Bill 921 of the 2011 General Assembly. The new 35 kV power cable will be installed utilizing horizontal directional drilling beneath intertidal wetlands, and trenched into the subaqueous sediment surface using the jet-assisted plow method to a minimum depth of three (3) feet below the sediment surface. Recommend approval with the complete removal of the defunct power line, and a royalty in the amount of $2,400.00 for the encroachment over 800 linear feet of State-owned subaqueous land at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot.
2B. DOMINION POWER, #10-1762, requests authorization to replace an existing overhead power line across the Piankatank River, immediately west of the Rt. 3 Twiggs Ferry Bridge between Mathews and Middlesex Counties including an area removed from Public Oyster Ground pursuant to Senate Bill 921 of the 2011 session of the General Assembly. The new 35kV line will be installed using horizontal directional drill beneath the tidal wetlands and trenched into the river bed using jet assist plow method to a minimum depth of three (3) feet below the sediment surface. Recommend approval with the complete removal of the existing line and two (2) support towers, and a royalty in the amount of $6,300.00 for the crossing of 2,100 linear feet of State-owned subaqueous bottom at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot.
2C. GAYLON LAYFIELD, #11-0004, requests authorization to construct three (3) near-shore, quarry stone sills, totaling 185 linear feet, with a base width of 16 feet and spaced 15 feet apart, located approximately 20 feet channelward of a failing bulkhead to be removed. The area behind the sills will be nourished with 250 cubic yards of clean sand fill and planted with appropriate wetland vegetation adjacent to property located on Fishing Bay at 919 Stove Point Road in Middlesex County. Recommend approval with the assessment of royalty in the amount of $97.20 for the nourishment over 1,944 square feet of State-owned subaqueous bottom at a rate of $0.05 per square foot.
2D. VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES, #10-2018, requests authorization to install six (6) stone breakwater structures, each measuring 136 feet long by 29 feet wide and approximately 5 feet high, to include placement of up to 44,450 cubic yards of sand nourishment landward of the breakwaters at their property situated along the James River at the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area in Surry County.
2E. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH, #10-1651, requests authorization to construct a permanent dredged material offloading facility and basin, and a public canoe/kayak launching pier in Thalia Creek near Virginia Beach Boulevard. The facility will include a 20-foot long by 60-foot wide concrete dredge material transfer pier, including a 20-foot by 30-foot L-head, associated fender piles, and two seven-pile dolphin clusters. The transfer facility will require the mechanical dredging of 9,525 cubic yards of State-owned submerged bottom with anticipated future maintenance to establish maximum depths of minus six (-6) feet at mean low water that will connect to the existing City channel within the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach. The canoe/kayak launching pier will consist of a 10-foot by 70-foot gangway leading to a 12-foot by 60-foot floating timber pier. Staff recommends approval for a five-year permit due to proposed maintenance dredge cycles.
2F. SCOTT COUNTY PUBLIC SERVICE AUTHORITY, #10-1960, requests authorization to install an eight-inch ductile iron water line under three (3) separate waterways in the Clinchport Community in Scott County. Open-cut trenching, including temporary cofferdams for water diversion, will be utilized for an approximate 50-foot crossing of Mill Creek and for an approximate 50-foot crossing of Cove Creek, both situated along S.R. 65. Riprap will be placed over the trench installations and disturbed stream banks. Directional drilling will be utilized for an approximate 400-foot crossing under the Clinch River along S.R. 645. Staff recommends approval with our standard in stream construction conditions.
2G. ZAPATA HAYNIE CORP-OMEGA PROTEIN, INC., #11-0028, requests authorization to mechanically dredge approximately 30,912 cubic yards of State-owned submerged lands to establish a maximum depth of -15 feet mean low water, construct and backfill a 478 linear foot, steel sheetpile replacement bulkhead aligned a maximum six (6) feet channelward of mean low water, construct a 12-foot wide by 150-foot long commercial pier, a 36-foot long by 30-foot wide pier extension and seven (7) cluster piles at the company's facility situated along Cockrell Creek in Northumberland County. Staff recommends an encroachment royalty of $6,750.00 for the filling of approximately 1,350 square feet of State-owned submerged lands at a rate of $5.00 per square foot, an encroachment royalty of $4,680.00 for the encroachment of the pier and decking over 2,340 square feet of submerged lands at a rate of $2.00 per square foot, a dredge royalty of $ 13,910.40 for the new dredging of 30,912 cubic yards at a rate of $0.45 per cubic yard and a $99.54 encroachment royalty for the fender piles over 49.77 square feet of State-owned submerged lands at $2.00 per square foot, for a total royalty of $25,439.94.
2H. WORMLEY CREEK MARINA, #10-1956, requests authorization to construct approximately 200 linear feet of replacement bulkheading and to replace 433 linear feet of fixed pier and 149 linear feet of L-head docks with approximately 458 linear feet of floating pier and 154 linear feet of L-head and T-head docking, resulting in a net reduction of five (5) slips, at their existing marina situated along Wormley Creek in York County.
2I. VIRGINIA RAIL EXPRESS, #10-1552, requests authorization to expand their rail service by adding a an additional track from Arkendale to Powell's Creek in Prince William and Stafford Counties (also known as Cherry Hill Third Track Project) that will include a 162 linear foot bridge crossing over Chopawamsic Creek, placement of a temporary causeway along 375 linear feet of the bank of the Potomac River for installation of an upland bulkhead, a bridge crossing over 600 linear feet of Widewater Creek and the installation of a third track on the existing bridge over 1,575 linear feet of Quantico Creek.
2J. VINCENT RADLEY, #10-1421, requests authorization to install two (2) 140-foot long and one (1) 160-foot long armor stone breakwaters, each with a base width of 24-feet and extending a maximum of 90-feet channelward of mean low water, construct one (1) 100-foot long by 20-foot wide stone spur extending a maximum of 90 feet channelward of mean low water and to nourish landward of the breakwaters with approximately 3,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand to be planted with American Beach Grass and Atlantic Coastal Panic Grass, adjacent to his property situated along the Potomac River in King George County.
2K. MICHAEL R. TURNER, #11-0080, requests authorization to install a 100 linear foot stone breakwater extending approximately 80-feet channelward of mean low water, construct two (2) stone spurs extending approximately 33 feet channelward of mean high water, construct 165 linear feet of riprap revetment extending a maximum of three (3) feet channelward of mean low water, and nourish landward of the breakwater with approximately 850 cubic yards of beach quality sand to be planted with American Beach Grass and Atlantic Coastal Panic Grass, and to extend an existing stone groin a maximum of 60-feet channelward of mean low water adjacent to his property situated along the Potomac River in King George County.
2L. LYON SHIPYARD, INC., #09-0700, requests authorization to dredge 13,750 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material by mechanical and hydraulic methods from two (2) existing marine railways at their property adjacent to the Campostella Bridge along the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in the City of Norfolk and the future maintenance dredging, on an as needed basis, of up to 10,000 cubic yards, per dredge cycle. All dredged material will be transported to and disposed of at an approved upland landfill. Staff recommends the inclusion of the standard dredging conditions and the assessment of a royalty in the amount of $6,187.50 for the dredging of 13,750 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material at a rate of $0.45 a cubic yard.
2M. NATIONAL OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, #11-0049, requests authorization to install and backfill approximately 800 linear feet of replacement bulkhead approximately three feet channelward of an existing, deteriorated bulkhead, adjacent to the NOAA Marine Operations Center situated along Smith Creek in the City of Norfolk. The proposed project also includes the installation of two (2) replacement composite pile mooring dolphins and a channelward relocation of two (2) existing floating pier platforms to accommodate the new bulkhead.
2N. NORFOLK DEPARTMENT OF UTILITIES AND ELIZABETH RIVER CROSSINGS, LLC, #11-0085, requests authorization to install, by horizontal direction drill, a 36-inch diameter raw waterline crossing beneath approximately 3,010 linear feet of the submerged bed of the Elizabeth River, immediately upriver of the Midtown Tunnel between the Cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. The proposed waterline is intended to replace an existing 30-inch diameter waterline located downriver of the Midtown Tunnel, which falls within the project footprint of the proposed Midtown Tunnel expansion project.
2O. NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY, #11-0102, requests authorization to maintenance dredge, on an as needed basis, up to 35,000 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material per dredge cycle, to maintain maximum depths of -53 feet at mean low water on either side of Pier 6 and -38 feet at mean low water on the south side of Pier 5, at their Lamberts Point facility situated along the Elizabeth River in the City of Norfolk. Staff recommends the inclusion of the standard dredging conditions.