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COMMISSION ACTIONS MARCH 25, 2014

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE AGENDA WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS PRESENTED.
[Audio Agenda]

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING WERE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THE SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW AS 2A WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHERE WERE NO CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.

5.  TRI-PORT TERMINALS, LLC, #14-0229, requests authorization to construct approximately 134 linear feet of steel-sheet pile bulkhead in the same alignment as the existing deteriorating bulkhead, and to install a dry hydrant, to include the use of a cofferdam, adjacent to their property at 1324 McCloud Road situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake.  The project requires a wetlands and a subaqueous permit.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF, CONDITIONED UPON THE PURCHASE OF 20 SQUARE FEET OF WETLANDS CREDITS FROM THE LIBERTYVILLE MITIGATION BANK IN CHESAPEAKE, AND A ROYALTY ASSESSMENT OF $17.50 FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE DRY HYDRANT OVER 4.5 LINEAR FEET OF STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND AT RATE OF $3.00 PER LINEAR FOOT AND FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE TWO (2) PILINGS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DRY HYDRANT AT A RATE OF $2.00 PER SQUARE FOOT. 
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6.  TERRELL W. BOWERS, #13-0656, requests authorization to construct a 255-foot long by 6-foot wide open-pile community pier with a 552-foot long by 6-foot wide T-head for 46 wet slips at the proposed Rappahannock Cliffs subdivision on the Rappahannock River in Richmond County.  The project is protested.  AFTER RECEIVING AND CONSIDERING EXTENSIVE TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF AND IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED PROJECT, THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO DENY THE REQUESTED 46-SLIP COMMUNITY PIER AND INSTEAD GRANTED AUTHORIZATION FOR A 6-FOOT WIDE BY 255-FOOT LONG OPEN-PILE COMMUNITY PIER WITH NO SLIPS. THE MODIFIED APPROVAL WAS CONTINGENT ON A PROHIBITION OF OVERNIGHT MOORING, ON THE APPLICANT RECEIVING VARIANCE APPROVAL FROM RICHMOND COUNTY FOR THE PIER’S LENGTH, AND THE ASSESSMENT OF A ONE-TIME ENCROACHMENT ROYALTY CALCULATED AT $1.50 PER SQUARE FOOT.  THE PERMIT WAS ADDITIONALLY CONDITIONED ON AN IN STREAM WORK TIME-OF-YEAR RESTRICTION OF FEBRUARY 15 TO JUNE 30 TO PROTECT ANADROMOUS FISHES AND A REQUIREMENT THAT THE APPLICANT PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION THAT HE HAS COORDINATED WITH AND RECEIVED THE NECESSARY APPROVALS FROM THE U. S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE PURSUANT TO THE BALD EAGLE AND GOLDEN EAGLE PROTECTION ACT.
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7.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Arlington Plantation Homeowner’s Association, Inc., requests a permanent extension to the 47.15 acres of oyster planting ground set-aside area at the mouth of Old Plantation Creek.  The area was originally set-aside for ten years by the Commission on February 24, 2004, due to submerged aquatic vegetation in the area.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST FOR A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE MATTER.
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8.  PUBLIC COMMENT.  MR. CHARLES GREGORY REQUESTED THE COMMISSION CONSIDER ALLOWING HIM TO USE A TRADITIONAL POUND NET LEADER AFTER AUGUST 1ST INSTEAD OF THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED MODIFIED LEADER.
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9.  DISCUSSION:  Commission procedures for revocation of licenses under 28.2-528, Unlawful Taking of Oysters.  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL PAUL KUGELMAN DISCUSSED PROCEDURES FOR LICENSE REVOCATION UNDER § 28.2-528 OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA.  MR. KUGELMAN EXPLAINED THIS CODE SECTION REQUIRES LICENSE REVOCATION FOR ANY PERSON CONVICTED OF UNLAWFULLY TAKING OYSTERS OR OTHER MOLLUSKS FROM PUBLIC GROUNDS, RIPARIAN OYSTER GROUNDS OR ANY GENERALLY LEASED OYSTER GROUNDS FOR A MINIMUM OF 6 MONTHS AND A MAXIMUM OF 2 YEARS FROM THE DATE OF CONVICTION.  MR. KUGELMAN FURTHER EXPLAINED THAT THE CODE SECTION DOES NOT REQUIRE NOTICE OR HEARING AND THAT THE INDIVIDUAL’S DUE PROCESS IS PROVIDED BY THE COURTS.  THE COMMISSION BELIEVES THE UTILIZATION OF THIS CODE SECTION WILL SERVE TO DEMONSTRATE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THESE OFFENSES. 
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10. REPEAT OFFENDERS.  THE COMMISSION CONSIDERED SEVEN CASES INVOLVING REPEAT OFFENDERS.  THEY VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PLACE ONE INDIVIDUAL ON A TWO-YEAR PROBATION AND THREE INDIVIDUALS ON ONE-YEAR OF PROBATION.  THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO REVOKE THE LICENSE OF TWO INDIVIDUALS FOR ONE YEAR, AND TO REVOKE THE LICENSE OF ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL FOR TWO YEARS FOR REPEATEDLY HARVESTING OYSTERS WHILE HIS LICENSE WAS REVOKED.
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11.  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 CASE WAS POSTPONED UNTIL THE APRIL 22, 2014 COMMISSION MEETING. 
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12.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed reaffirming of amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-900-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs” which were adopted on December 10, 2013 and made effective January 1, 2014.  STAFF REVIEWED MATERIALS FROM THE DECEMBER 10, 2013 COMMISSION MEETING AND PRESENTED SIX RECOMMENDATIONS.  MR. ALLAN MARSHALL SPOKE IN FAVOR OF CHANGING THE TIME-OF-DAY REGULATION FOR THE COMMERCIAL HORSESHOE CRAB HAND HARVEST FISHERY. FOUR INDIVIDUALS SPOKE CONCERNING THE REAFFIRMING OF AMENDMENTS.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 6 TO 2 TO REAFFIRM THE AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-900-10 ET SEQ. “PERTAINING TO HORSESHOE CRABS” WHICH WERE ADOPTED ON DECEMBER 10, 2013, AND MADE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2014, AND TO CHANGE THE TIME-OF-DAY FOR THE COMMERCIAL HORSESHOE CRAB HAND HARVEST FISHERY FROM NOON TO NOON TO MAKE ENFORCEMENT EASIER AND MORE EFFECTIVE.
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13.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed reaffirming of amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-490-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Sharks,” which were adopted February 25, 2014 and made effective March 1, 2014.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO REAFFIRM AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-490-10 ET SEQ. “PERTAINING TO SHARKS,” WHICH WERE ADOPTED FEBRUARY 25, 2014 AND MADE EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 2014. 
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14.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed adoption of previous emergency amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-280-10., “Pertaining to Red Drum and Speckled Trout”, to close the recreational speckled trout fishing season from March 1, 2014 through July 31, 2014, and proposed amendments to lower the recreational possession limit year-round, establish commercial buyer mandatory reporting and establish a by-catch limit for the commercial harvest of speckled trout.  STAFF PRESENTED MATERIAL RELEVANT TO THE VIRGINIA COLD-STUN EVENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS PROVIDED BY THE FINFISH MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AND THE PUBLIC COMMENT RECEIVED ON THE ISSUE TO DATE. THIRTEEN MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SPOKE ON THE TOPIC.  ON A VOTE OF 6 TO 2 (WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION MEMBERS HAYNIE AND CLOSE VOTING N0) , THE COMMISSION APPROVED STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ADOPT PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-280-10., “PERTAINING TO RED DRUM AND SPECKLED TROUT”, TO CLOSE THE RECREATIONAL SPECKLED TROUT FISHING SEASON FROM MARCH 1, 2014 THROUGH JULY 31, 2014, ESTABLISH A FIVE-FISH PER PERSON RECREATIONAL POSSESSION LIMIT YEAR ROUND WITH ONE FISH OVER 24 INCHES, ESTABLISH A BYCATCH LIMIT OF UP-TO 100 POUNDS WHEN 80% OF THE COMMERCIAL QUOTA HAS BEEN REACHED, AND TO REQUIRE BUYERS TO REPORT ANY AMOUNT OF SPECKLED TROUT PURCHASED ANY WEEK DURING AUGUST THROUGH DECEMBER.
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15.  PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-280-10., “Pertaining to Red Drum and Speckled Trout” to lower the commercial maximum size limit for red drum, from 26 inches to 25 inches, and to increase the commercial possession limit from 3 fish to 5 fish.  ONE PERSON SPOKE IN FAVOR OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO LOWER THE COMMERCIAL MAXIMUM SIZE LIMIT FROM 26 INCHES TO 25 INCHES, AND TO INCREASE THE POSSESSION LIMIT FROM 3 FISH TO 5 FISH. 
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16.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed adoption of previous emergency amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-620-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Summer Flounder” to establish a consecutive 20-day commercial landing period, beginning on the second Wednesday of March.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION T0 ADOPT THE PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-620-10 ET SEQ., “PERTAINING TO SUMMER FLOUNDER.”  THE AMENDMENTS ESTABLISH A CONSECUTIVE 20-DAY COMMERCIAL LANDING PERIOD, BEGINNING ON THE SECOND WEDNESDAY OF MARCH, EFFECTIVE MARCH 31ST, 2014.

THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ADOPT EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-620-10 ET SEQ., “PERTAINING TO SUMMER FLOUNDER” TO ESTABLISH A LANDING LIMIT OF 5,000 POUNDS OF SUMMER FLOUNDER EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2014. 
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17.  PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Black Sea Bass” to establish the 2014 commercial black sea bass quota as 434,000 pounds, and a request for an April public hearing to establish the recreational season and possession limit for black sea bass.  ONE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SPOKE REGARDING THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH THE 2014 COMMERCIAL QUOTA AT 434,000 POUNDS.  THEY ALSO INCORPORATED THE CHANGE TO THE COMMON NAME OF THE SQUID SPECIES FROM LOLIGO TO LONG-FINNED SQUID, AND THE ADVERTISING FOR AN APRIL 22, 2014, PUBLIC HEARING TO ESTABLISH THE 2014 RECREATIONAL SEASON FROM MAY 19 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 18 AND OCTOBER 18 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, WITH A POSSESSION LIMIT OF 15 FISH AS REQUIRED BY THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION. 
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18.  PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-510-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Amberjack and Cobia” to establish daily vessel cobia possession limits for recreational vessels, as well as commercial vessels operated by lawful commercial hook-and-line licensees. TWO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SPOKE CONCERNING THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 6 TO 1 (WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION MEMBER NEIL VOTING NO) TO APPROVE STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH A DAILY COMMERCIAL POSSESSION LIMIT OF 6 COBIA FOR ANY COMMERCIAL VESSEL OPERATED BY AT LEAST ONE LEGAL COMMERCIAL HOOK-AND-LINE LICENSEE, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF CREW ON THAT VESSEL. 
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19.  RECOMMENDATIONS:  From the Recreational Fishing Advisory Board on funding projects from the Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund.  STAFF PRESENTED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUNDING PROJECTS THROUGH THE VIRGINIA SALTWATER RECREATIONAL FISHING DEVELOPMENT FUND.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE STAFF’S RECOMMENDATIONS TO APPROVE FUNDING FOR THE PROJECTS. 
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20.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  To amend public and private warm-water shellfish management measures established in Chapter 4VAC20-1230-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Shellfish.”  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE REQUEST FOR A PUBLIC HEARING TO AMEND PUBLIC AND PRIVATE WARM-WATER SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT MEASURES ESTABLISHED IN CHAPTER 4VAC20-1230-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON SHELLFISH” FOR THE APRIL 22, 2014 COMMISSION MEETING.
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THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEM (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY:

2A.  ELIZABETH RIVER CROSSINGS, OPCO LLC, #11-1116, requests authorization to install three (3) double point bow-stern moorings designed to temporarily moor a maximum of six (6) concrete immersed tube tunnel (ITT) elements within the limits of Anchorage I-1 to the west of the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel in Hampton Roads, in association with 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.  The moorings will be removed once all tunnel elements have been placed. 

PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM:

NONE.


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