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COMMISSION ACTIONS JULY 2012

The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held July 24, 2012 at Commission headquarters.  The Commission's actions are in bold.

*** COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD GAVE BRIEF REMARKS CONGRATULATING FISHERIES STAFFER RENEE HOOVER FOR THE SUCCESSFUL DEFENSE OF HER DOCTORAL DISSERTATION AT OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY LAST WEEK.
[Audio Remarks

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE MEETING AGENDA WAS APPROVED 7-0.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BILL LAINE WAS ABSENT FROM THE MEETING.
[Audio Agenda

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE JUNE MEETING WERE APPROVED 7-0.
[Audio Item 1

2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE TWO SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEMS 2A AND 2B, WERE APPROVED 7-0.  ITEM 2A'S APPROVAL WAS CONTINGENT ON NO PROTESTS BEING RECEIVED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEGAL PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD.
[Audio Item 2

3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSNONE.
[Audio Item 3-4

4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.

5.  EDWIN RICE, #09-1497, requests authorization to construct a 24-foot long by 8-foot wide, open-sided roof, to create a crab shedding facility and to change the use of his existing 88-foot long by 6-foot wide private pier to a commercial pier, adjacent to property situated along Cockrell Creek at Buzzards Point Road in Northumberland County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS.  NO OPPOSITION WAS VOICED AT THE MEETING.
[Audio Item 5

6.  ROBERT LIVENGOOD, #12-0388, requests authorization construct a 5-foot by 66-foot finger pier, a 17-foot by 41-foot open-sided boathouse roof and a 5-foot by 13-foot finger pier at his existing private-use pier situated along Cypress Creek, a tributary to the Pagan River at 906 Talbot Drive in the Town of Smithfield.  The boathouse roof request is for a second such structure at this location.  The project is protested by nearby property owners.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 6-1 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT CONTINGENT ON THE APPLICANT PRODUCING A PURCHASE CONTRACT FOR A VESSEL, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ED TANKARD VOTED NO.
[Audio Item 6

7.  BENCHMARK DEVELOPERS, LLC, #07-1375, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 170-foot long by 8-foot wide community pier with a 184-foot long by 6-foot wide T-head, and a 200 square foot floating section adjacent to a common parcel situated within a cove of Hack Creek in Northumberland County.  The project is protested by adjacent and nearby property owners.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO ORDER THE APPLICANTS REMOVE 65 FEET OF THE PIER'S T-HEAD SO THE STRUCTURE DOES NOT EXTEND MORE ONE-THIRD OF THE WAY ACROSS THE CREEK, IMPOSED TRIPLE PERMIT FEES, A TRIPLED ROYALTY OF $18,918 AND CIVIL CHARGES OF $9,000 AGAINST BOTH THE DEVELOPER AND THE CONTRACTOR IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION. 
[Audio Item 7

8.  PUBLIC COMMENTS.  VIRGINIA WATERMEN'S ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT KEN SMITH GAVE AN UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS BEING MADE BY A NEW BLUE CRAB ADVISORY COMMITTEE WORKING ON A LONG-TERM VISION ON HOW TO BEST STRUCTURE AND MANAGE THE FISHERY.  HE SAID COMMITTEE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN MEETING PERIODICALLY ON SUNDAYS FOR SEVERAL HOURS SINCE OCTOBER.  THE GOAL OF THE COMMITTEE IS TO GAIN BUY-IN FROM THE INDUSTRY ON HOW TO ADDRESS OUTSTANDING ISSUES IN THE CRAB FISHERY AND TO RESTRUCTURE THE FISHERY IN WAYS SUPPORTED BY THE INDUSTRY WHILE MEETING AGENCY NEEDS OF SUSTAINABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND FAIRNESS.
[Audio Item 8

9.  REQUEST FOR OYSTER FISHERY PUBLIC HEARINGS: (1) Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest," to establish the 2012-2013 harvest seasons; (2) Proposed amendment to Chapter 4VAC20-260-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Designation of Seed and Clean Cull Areas," to modify oyster culling procedures; and (3) Proposed amendment of Chapter 4VAC20-560-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Shellfish Management Areas," to close the York River Shellfish Management Area.  BY CONSENSUS, THE COMMISSION APPROVED HOLDING A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS AUGUST MEETING TO LOWER THE POSSESSION LIMITS FROM 10 TO 8 BUSHELS A DAY, AND WITH A LOWERED VESSEL LIMIT OF 24 BUSHELS (DOWN FROM 30 BUSHELS).  THE COMMISSION ALSO WILL CONSIDER CLOSING THE YORK RIVER SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT AREA AND INCLUDING IT IN A NEW ROTATIONAL OYSTER HARVEST SYSTEM FOR THE LOWER YORK RIVER AND MOBJACK BAY.
[Audio Item 9

10.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposal to establish regulations for American lobsters landed in Virginia, in accordance with requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to achieve a 10% reduction in lobster landings from the southern New England lobster stock.  BY CONSENSUS, THE COMMISSION APPROVED HOLDING A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS AUGUST MEETING TO ENACT REGULATIONS TO REDUCE COMMERCIAL LOBSTER LANDINGS.  IT IS A VERY SMALL FISHERY, WITH LESS THAN A DOZEN PARTICIPANTS.
[Audio Item 10

11.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-252-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass," to allow the recreational harvest of striped bass by spear fishing.  BY CONSENSUS, THE COMMISSION APPROVED HOLDING A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS AUGUST MEETING TO CONSIDER ALLOWING RECREATIONAL ANGLERS TO HARVEST STRIPED BASS BY SPEAR FISHING.  THE SIZE, SEASON AND CREEL LIMITS WILL APPLY.
[Audio Item 11

12.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-252-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass," to modify the October 4 through December 31 Chesapeake Area recreational striped bass management measures that would maintain the 2-fish possession limit, 18 inch minimum size limit and 28 inch maximum size, except one striped bass may be greater than 28 inches total length.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO SIMPLIFY THE FALL RECREATIONAL STRIPED BASS REGULATIONS BY REMOVING THE NO-TAKE SLOT LIMIT IN PLACE SINCE 2005.  THIS ALLOWS ANGLERS TO KEEP MORE OF THE STRIPERS THEY CATCH. THE DAILY POSSESSION LIMIT WILL CONTINUE TO BE TWO FISH PER ANGLE, BUT WITH A MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT OF 18 INCHES AND A MAXIMUM OF 28 INCHES, ALTHOUGH ONE OF THOSE TWO FISH MAY BE MORE THAN 28 INCHES.  THE 28-34 INCH NO-TAKE SLOT LIMIT WAS REMOVED.
[Audio Item 12

13.  POUND NETS:  Mr. Edward M. Bender of Cheriton, Virginia has applied to license and locate three pound nets at new locations in the lower eastern Chesapeake Bay.  There are public comments in opposition to these new pound net locations.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE THE APPLICANT'S REQUEST FOR THREE POUND NETS, PROVIDED HIS FATHER, AS INDICATED, TURNS IN HIS LICENSE TO SET A GILL NET CURRENTLY AUTHORIZED TO BE LOCATED TOO CLOSE, LEGALLY, TO A POUND NET.
[Audio Item 13

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."  THE COMMISSION PUT ONE WATERMAN ON PROBATION FOR A YEAR, AND PUT A SECOND WATERMAN ON PROBATION FOR SIX MONTHS, FOR FAILING TO FILE TIMELY CATCH REPORTS AS REQUIRED.
[Audio Item 14

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED 7-0, ALTHOUGH ITEM 2A'S APPROVAL IS PROVIDED NO OBJECTIONS ARE FILED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEGAL PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

2A.  GASLIGHT LANDING, LLC #05-1221, requests authorization to modify a previously authorized dock configuration by rotating a 4-foot by 20-foot gangway 90 degrees to run parallel to shore and installing a 6-foot by 10-foot fixed landing to the existing marginal wharf and an 8-foot by 20-foot floating dock structure to the main 8-foot by 225-foot floating dock associated with the Gaslight Landing Project adjacent to property situated along Occoquan River at 207 Mill Street in Prince William County. 

2B.  DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, #12-0840, requests authorization to perform upgrades to the existing fender systems, by replacing piles, chocks, wales, and blocking, at Piers 3 and 5 at Naval Station Norfolk, to include the removal of approximately 193 existing timber piles, the installation of 49 timber piles and 6-pre-stressed 24-inch concrete piles at Pier 3, and the removal of approximately 103 timber piles, and the installation of 91 timber piles at Pier 5 situated on the Elizabeth River in the City of Norfolk. 

THERE WERE NO PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS.

NONE



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