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COMMISSION ACTIONS AUGUST 2012

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE MEETING AGENDA WAS APPROVED 7-0, AFTER ITEM 2B WAS PULLED FROM THE AGENDA BECAUSE IT WAS PROTESTED. 
[Audio Agenda]

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE JULY 24 MEETING WERE AMENDED AND APPROVED 7-0.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE THREE SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEMS 2A, 2C, AND 2D WERE APPROVED 7-0.  ITEM 2B WAS PULLED FROM THE MEETING AGENDA.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHIS CONSENT AGENDA ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEM 3A, WAS APPROVED 7-0.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  A 12-MINUTE CLOSED MEET WITH COUNSEL WAS HELD TO DISCUSS ON-GOING LITIGATION.
[Audio Item 4a][Audio Item 4b]

5.  WAYNE and CONNIE MAYTON, #12-0612, request authorization to install a 12-foot by 80-foot concrete boat ramp extending up to 20 feet channelward of mean low water and impacting approximately 480 square feet of jurisdictional beach at their property situated along the James River, at 399 Villa Road within the Town of Claremont in Surry County.  This project requires a subaqueous permit and a Coastal Primary Sand Dune and Beaches permit.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.  NO OPPOSITION WAS VOICED AT THE MEETING.
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6.  PER PROPERTIES, #12-0592, requests authorization to install a bulkhead, mooring dolphins and pilings, and to mechanically dredge 118,039 cubic yards of State-owned submerged land during the initial cycle, and to maintenance dredge approximately 15,900 cubic yards during subsequent cycles on an as-needed basis, for the construction of a grain terminal at 3991 Elm Avenue situated on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in the City of Portsmouth.  The project requires a subaqueous permit and a Coastal Primary Sand Dune and Beaches permit.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS DESIGNED, WITH 11 SPECIAL CONDITIONS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF AND A ROYALTY OF $53,117.55 FOR THE DREDGING OF 118,039 CUBIC YARDS OF MATERIAL.  THE ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNER, MR. DWIGHT A. DIXON AND HIS LEGAL COUNSEL, MR. ROGER HOPPER, SPOKE IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSAL.
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7.  ROBERT ‘TRAY' IRBY, Notice to Comply #12-01. Commission review of violations of Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia, specifically the unauthorized installation of concrete riprap material on State-owned submerged bottom and non-vegetated tidal wetlands at property situated along the James River at 1519 Rustling Cedar Lane in Henrico County.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO PROVIDE MR. IRBY WITH AN ADDITIONAL 60 DAYS IN WHICH TO SUBMIT AN AFTER-THE-FACT APPLICATION.
[Audio Item 7]

8.  MARC E. BROWN, 2012-011, requests authorization to lease up to 18 acres of oyster planting grounds at the confluence of the Pagan River and James River adjacent to the Pagan River channel in Isle of Wight County.  The project is protested by an adjacent leaseholder. This matter is continued from the June 26, 2012, Commission meeting.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO LEASE TWO SECTIONS TOTALLING 9.21 ACRES OF THE PAGAN RIVER BOTTOM NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE JAMES RIVER TO THE APPLICANT.  THE COMMISSION DECIDED NOT TO CHANGE LONG-STANDING POLICY THAT PROHIBITS LEASES WITHIN A MARKED FEDERAL NAVIGATION CHANNEL.
[Audio Item 8]

9.  BLUFF POINT HOLDINGS, LLC, 2011-067, requests authorization to lease up to 250 acres of oyster planting grounds within Barnes Creek in Northumberland County.  The application is protested by numerous residents, other leaseholders, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 6-1, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER TANKARD VOTING NO, TO APPROVE A LAST-MINUTE STAFF-MEDIATED COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE APPLICANT AND OPPONENTS TO LEASE 150 ACRES OF WATER BOTTOM IN AND AROUND BARNES CREEK, BUT PROHIBITED PLACEMENT OF AQUACULATURE CAGES AT THE MOUTH OF THE CREEK.
[Audio Item 9a][Audio Item 9b]

10.  PUBLIC COMMENTS.  ATTORNEY JOHN DANIEL ASKED THE COMMISSION HOW MUCH MORE TIME THE AGENCY WILL NEED TO REVIEW HIS CLIENT'S CLAIM THAT A KING'S GRANT FROM 1693 CONVEYED PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF .268 ACRES OF RAM ISLAND IN BACK BAY.   HE WAS TOLD THE MATTER IS BEING REVIEWED BY AN OUTSIDE LAND TITLE EXPERT, BUT THAT THE MATTER MAY BE PLACED BEFORE THE COMMISSION FOR CONSIDERATION IN SEPTEMBER.
[Audio Item 10a]

ALSO, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER TANKARD ASKED FOR A STATUS REPORT OF THE RED DRUM STOCK, AND WONDERED WHEN IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO ADJUST THE SIZE AND POSSESSION LIMIT TO BENEFIT RECREATIONAL ANGLERS.  DEPUTY FISHERIES CHIEF JOE GRIST RESPONDED THAT THE STOCK IS DOING WELL, AND THERE ARE RUMBLINGS AT THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION OF PERHAPS ALLOWING STATES TO CONSIDER ENACTING TROPHY FISHERIES FOR THE SPECIES.
[Audio Item 10b]

11. 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.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO SET THE 2012-2013 OYSTER SEASON OPENING AND CLOSING DATES, AND TO LOWER THE DAILY POSSESSION LIMIT FROM 10 TO 8 BUSHELS PER WATERMAN, WITH A 24 BUSHEL DAILY VESSEL LIMIT.  THE COMMISSION ALSO CLOSED THE YORK RIVER MANAGEMENT AREA AND ESTABLISHED ANEW ROTATIONAL HARVEST MANAGEMENT PLAN IN ITS PLACE, AS IS BEING DONE IN THE RAPPHANNOCK RIVER AND OFF TANGIER ISLAND.
COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD NOTED THAT STAFF IS REEVALUATING AGENCY POLICY TO HAVE THE COMMISSON CONSIDER SANCTIONS AGAINST THOSE WATERMEN WHO HAVE ACQUIRED THREE OR MORE VIOLATIONS IN A YEAR.  HE SAID SOME TYPES OF VIOLATIONS, SUCH AS VIOLATING OYSTER SANCTUARIES OR HARVESTING SHELLFISH FROM CONDEMNED WATERS, MAYBE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED SO EGREGIOUS AS TO TRIGGER AN AUTOMATIC APPEARANCE BEFORE THE COMMISSION ON THE FIRST VIOLATION. 
[Audio Item 11]

12. PUBLIC HEARING LOBSTER:  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.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO APROVE A 10 PERCENT REDUCTION IN COMMERCIAL LOBSTER LANDINGS.  VERY FEW WATERMEN HARVEST LOBSTERS.  IN FACT, THEY HAVE AVERAGED ONLY 19,000 POUNDS OF LOBSTER ANNUALLY OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS. 
[Audio Item 12]

13. PUBLIC HEARING STRIPED BASS:  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.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-0 TO ALLOW SPEAR FISHING FOR STRIPED BASS.  A BAN HAS BEEN IN PLACE SINCE THE 1990S.  AS A RESULT, SHARKS NOW REMAIN THE ONLY FINFISH THAT CANNOT BE TAKEN BY SPEAR FISHING IN VIRGINIA'S TIDAL WATERS.
[Audio Item 13]

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED 7-0, EXCEPT FOR ITEM 2B, WHICH WAS PULLED FROM THE MEETING'S AGENDA:

2A. CITY OF NORFOLK, #12-0281, requests authorization to dredge approximately 19,700 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material to achieve maximum navigable depths of minus five (-5) feet mean low water, and to maintenance dredge approximately 10,000 cubic yards on an as-needed basis, and to install either fixed or floating buoy channel markers within Edgewater Haven in the City of Norfolk.  Dredged material will barged to the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area (CIDMMA) for disposal. 

2B. COLUMBIA GAS OF VIRGINIA, #12-0606, requests authorization to dredge 23,573 cubic yards of State-owned submerged land during a one-time dredging event and to restore the site to its pre-dredge bathymetry with certified clean sand to complete the environmental remediation of the former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site adjacent to the Swimming Point neighborhood situated on the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth.  Dredged material will be barged to Port Weanack at Shirley Plantation, offloaded onto trucks, and transferred to the Charles City landfill for disposal. Staff recommends approval Staff recommends approval with a one-time royalty payment of $4,714.60 for the dredging of 23,573 cubic yards of material at a rate of $0.20 per cubic yard.  THIS AGENDA ITEM WAS PULLED FROM CONSIDERATION AT THIS MEETING.

2C. AT&T CORP., #12-0991, requests authorization to directional drill under the Potomac River at a minimum depth of 50 feet below the stream bottom to install a utility conduit which will surface a minimum 100 feet landward of the shore of The Potomac River within the Dahlgren Wayside Park in King George County. 

2D. AT&T CORP., #12-0390, requests authorization to replace an existing fiber optic communication cable within existing conduit along a 60 mile route which will pass through various counties and cross under Upper Machodoc Creek and its tributaries, the Rappahannock River, Goldenvale Creek, Mill Creek, Marascosic Creek, the Mattaponi River, Polecat Creek, Reedy Creek, Mechumps Creek, Stoney Run, the Chickahominy River and Upham Brook.  Due to the condition of the conduit in the Pamunkey River, a new approximately 710-foot conduit will be directionally bored under the river which will connect with the remainder of the existing conduit along the route.  Staff recommends approval with standard E & S control measures and a royalty of $19,656.00 for the encroachment over 6,552 linear feet of State-owned submerged lands at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot.

THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WAS APPROVED 7-0:

3A. DOUGLAS CLARK, #12-0801, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a previously installed 194 linear foot rip rap revetment along Brewers Creek, a tributary to Chuckatuck Creek at his property located at 21311 Brewers Farm Lane, Carrollton, in Isle of Wight County.  The applicant has agreed to a triple permit fee of $75.00 and a civil charge of $1,000.00.


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