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COMMISSION ACTIONS AUGUST 2011

THE COMMISSION'S MONTHLY MEETING WAS ADJOURNED ABRUPTLY MID-MEETING WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 5.9 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SHOOK AGENCY HEADQUARTERS.  THE COMMISSION WILL RESCHEDULE A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE ON THE ISSUES THAT WERE UNADDRESSED, INCLUDING THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF THE WINTER CRAB DREDGE FISHERY AND THE HARVEST RULES FOR THE 2011-2012 OYSTER SEASON.

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE MEETING AGENDA 7-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ED TANKARD ABSENT FROM THE MEETING AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER CARTER FOX LATE TO ARRIVE.
[Audio Agenda]

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FOX ABSTAINING, TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE JULY MEETING.
[Audio Item 1]

2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE FOUR SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL, WERE APPROVED.  ITEMS 2A, 2C AND 2D WERE APPROVED 7-0 AND ITEM 2B WAS APPROVED 6-0 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER PLUMLEE ABSTAINING.
[Audio Item 2]

3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSA SINGLE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEM 3A, WAS APPROVED 7-0.
[Audio Item 3]

4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NOT NECESSARY AT THIS MEETING.
[Audio Item 4]

5.  EAST BEACH LLC, #08-2261, requests authorization to dredge 20 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material to create depths of minus three (-3) feet at mean low water, to accommodate the replacement and use of an existing, deteriorated boat ramp adjacent to the applicant's property located on Little Creek, at the intersection of 24th Bay Street and Pretty Lake Avenue, in the City of Norfolk.  The project is protested by both adjacent property owners.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FOX ABSTAINING, TO APPROVE THE PROJECT, PER STAFF RECOMMENDATION.
[Audio Item 5]

6.  ROBERT WHITE, JR., #07-1141, requests authorization to install an approximately 240-foot long gapped, precast, concrete Beach Prism permeable breakwater system aligned an average of 38 feet channelward of mean low water, adjacent to his property situated along Ingram Bay in Northumberland County.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT, SUBJECT TO THE APPLICANT'S SUBMITTAL OF A MONITORING PLAN AND AGREEMENT TO PROMPTLY REMOVE ANY STRUCTURES THAT FAIL.
[Audio Item 6]

7.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Commission consideration to designate approximately 425 acres of subaqueous bottomlands at the confluence of the Poquoson River and Bennett Creek in the City of Poquoson as Not Appropriate for Shellfish Leased Ground that could be authorized by 28.2-603 of the Code of Virginia.  THE COMMISSION DECLINED, WITHOUT A VOTE, TO SET ASIDE 425 ACRES OF WATER BOTTOM OFF BEACH ROAD IN POQUOSON AS UNLEASABLE.  FUTURE DECISIONS ON WHETHER TO ALLOW THIS AREA TO BE LEASED SHOULD BE ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, THE COMMISSION DECIDED.
[Audio Item 7]

8.  PUBLIC COMMENT.  VIRGINIA WATERMENS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT KEN SMITH ASKED THE COMMISSION TO CHECK INTO HOW THE VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE SPENT THE FEDERAL CRAB FISHERY DISASTER FUNDS THAT WERE ALLOCATED TO A CRAB POT CULL RING/TERRAPIN EXCLUDER DEVICE STUDY.
ALSO, AT THE REQUEST OF ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS, THE COMMISSION AGREED TO OFFER A COMMENT TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ON A DRAFT MASTER USE PLAN FOR THE PARK THAT STRADDLES CHINCOTEAGUE AND ASSATEAGUE, AND TO SEEK AN EXPLANATON OF THE VARIOUS USE OPTIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION, ONE WHICH MAY IMPACT THE STATE'S HORSESHOE CRAB FISHERY. 

[Audio Item 8]

9.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Consideration of final blue crab regulations, including closure of the crab dredge fishery for the 2011-2012 season, (4VAC20-1140-20 et seq. "Pertaining to Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia waters). Decision on licensing those individuals on the peeler pot and crab pot waiting list who have been inactive, at least since 2004 (4VAC20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing"). Re-assignment of latitude-longitude coordinates that apply to Virginia Blue Crab Sanctuaries (4VAC20-752-20 et seq., "Pertaining to Blue Crab Sanctuaries").  THE MEETING WAS ABRUPTLY ADJOURNED AND THE BUILDING EVACUATED WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE STRUCK AS STAFF WAS BRIEFING THE COMMISSION ON A PROPOSAL TO CLOSE THE WINTER CRAB DREDGE FISHERY FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROWAS THE STOCK IS BEING REBUILT.
[Audio Item 9]

10.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Consideration of amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest" to establish the 2011-2012 public oyster seasons.  THIS ITEM WAS NOT ADDRESSED DUE TO EARLY ADJOURNMENT.

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED:

2A.  MARINE HYDRAULICS, INCORPORATED, #10-1974, requests authorization to maintenance dredge up to 10,000 cubic yards of state-owned subaqueous bottom, on an annual dredge cycle, using both hydraulic and mechanical dredging methods, to maintain a depth of 38.14 feet below mean sea level, at their Lamberts Point Facility in the City of Norfolk.

2B.  VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, #11-0857,
requests authorization replace the existing Route 60/Main Street Bridge in Clifton Forge with a 160.5-foot long by 51.5-foot wide clear span bridge impacting 8,164 square feet of the Smith River in Alleghany County.  Staff recommends approval with our standard in-stream construction conditions.

2C.  METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, #11-0193,
requests authorization to cross 61 linear feet of Broad Run and a total of 168 linear feet (three locations) of Horsepen Run along the Dulles Greenway in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties for the installation of clear span bridges to accommodate the Metrorail Project Phase 2.  Staff recommends approval with our standard in-stream construction conditions.

2D.  CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION, #11-0204,
requests authorization to install six (6) offshore stone breakwaters on the north side of Port Isobel Island and maintenance dredge on an as-needed basis subaqueous material to maintain depths of minus five (-5) feet at mean low water from the entrance channel leading to the Port Isobel Education Center near Tangier Island in Accomack County.  The dredge material will be placed in an upland disposal site. Staff recommends approval with a time-of-year restriction from February 15 through August 15 of any year to avoid potential impacts to colonial waterbird colonies.

THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WAS APPROVED:   

3A.  SUNSET BOATING CENTER AND DRY STORAGE, #10-1709, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain six (6) piles installed channelward of a 71-foot long section of a timber bulkhead at 800 South Armistead Avenue situated along Sunset Creek in the City of Hampton.


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