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COMMISSION ACTIONS August 23, 2016

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.

1. MINUTES of previous meeting. APPROVED WITH 6 YES, 2 ABSTENTIONS [audio]

2. PERMITS (Projects over $500,000.00 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED ITEM 2A [audio]

3. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS. NONE [audio]

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

5. ROBERT WILMOTH III, #16-0535 Requests authorization to construct a 30-foot long by 12-foot wide private, noncommercial, timber, open-sided boathouse adjacent to his property situated along Aquia Creek at 311 Voyage Cove in Stafford County. The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED. [audio]

6. SUZANNE McCANNA, #16-0490 Requests authorization to retain an existing 7-foot by 19-foot enclosed storage building and construct a 10-foot by 10-foot floating dock addition to an existing private pier along Bennetts Creek at 5972 Bennetts Creek Lane in the City of Suffolk. VOTED 7-2 WITH COMMISSIONER BULL AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ERSKINE OPPOSED TO GRANT AFTER-THE-FACT AUTHORIZATION FOR THE STORAGE BUILDING AND AUTHORIZATION TO CONSTRUCT THE ADDITIONAL FLOATING PIER CONDITIONED UPON THE APPLICANTS' AGREEMENT TO PAY A CIVIL CHARGE IN THE AMOUNT OF $3000.00 FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED STRUCTURE IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION. [audio]

7. REPORT OF RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LYNNHAVEN RIVER SHELLFISH WORK GROUP. VOTED 7-2 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS KELLUM AND ERSKINE OPPOSED, TO DIRECT STAFF TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO CONDUCT A PUBLIC HEARING ON ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE LYNNHAVEN WORK GROUP INVOLVING AMENDMENTS TO THE ON-BOTTOM SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE REGULATION 4 VAC 20-335-10 ET SEQ. [audio]

8. REQUEST FOR COMMISSION ACTION Regarding the seven-month lease assignment moratorium in the City of Virginia Beach, previously approved at the January 26, 2016, Commission meeting. VOTED 8-1 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ERSKINE OPPOSED TO CONTINUE THE MORATORIUM ON PROCESSING REGULAR OYSTER GROUND LEASE APPLICATIONS WITHIN THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH FOR UP TO SIX MONTHS AND TO ALLOW THE PROCESSING OF RIPARIAN OYSTER LEASES TO RESUME. [audio]

9. PUBLIC COMMENTS Mr. Clair asked the Commission to consider clarifying the standards used for fisheries violations. He was not aware that a matrix was developed by a fisheries and law enforcement division committee and reviewed and adopted by the Marine Police and the Commission. The Commissioner directed the Chief of the Marine Police, the Fisheries Division and the Administration and Finance Divisions meet with Mr. Claire to discuss suspension, prohibition and revocation polices. [audio]

10. OFFENDERS: THE COMMISSION HEARD 3 CASES OF OFFENDERS WITH NATURAL RESOURCE VIOLATIONS. [audio]

11. PUBLIC HEARING Amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish", to establish the 2016 Virginia commercial bluefish quota as 580,287 pounds. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO AMEND CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-450-10 ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO THE TAKING OF BLUEFISH", TO ESTABLISH THE 2016 COMMERCIAL BLUEFISH QUOTA AS 580,287 POUNDS. [audio]

12. PUBLIC HEARING Amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-260-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Designation of Seed Areas and Clean Cull Areas," to establish baskets (circular plastic mesh containers of not less than 2500 cubic inches but not more than 3000 cubic inches), filled level across the entire top, as the only unit of measurement for buying or selling clean cull oysters harvested from public oyster grounds. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH BASKETS, FILLED LEVEL ACROSS THE ENTIRE TOP, AS THE ONLY UNIT OF MEASURE FOR BUYING AND SELLING CLEAN CULL OYSTERS HARVESTED FROM OYSTER GROUND. THE NEW DEFINITION OF THE BASKET WILL BE A PLASTIC MESH CONTAINER EQUALING 2,566 CUBIC INCHES WITH A TOP INSIDE DIAMETER OF 17 INCHES, BOTTOM INSIDE DIAMETER OF 13.5 INCHES, AND AN INSIDE HEIGHT OF 14 INCHES (4VAC20-260-15). A NEW DEFINITION, "LEVEL FULL" MEANS A BASKET OR TUB THAT IS FILLED ENTIRELY TO THE UPPER RIM, BUT NOT FILLED HIGHER THAN THE UPPER RIM (4VAC20-260-15). [audio]

13. PUBLIC HEARING Amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest," to establish the 2016-2017 public oyster harvest seasons and management measures that could include, but are not limited to, lower bushel limits and effort limitations. THE COMMISSION APPROVED STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO : •MAINTAIN THE FREEZE, BEGUN ON FEBRUARY 23, 2016, ON THE SALE OF OYSTER ALL-GEAR RESOURCE USER FEES THAT ALLOWS ANY HARVESTER TO USE ONE OR MORE GEAR TYPES TO HARVEST OYSTERS AND POSSESS ANY BUSHEL LIMIT (4VAC 20-720-15(B). •TO MAINTAIN ELIGIBILITY IN THE OYSTER FISHERY, THESE INDIVIDUALS MUST PURCHASE THE OYSTER ALL GEAR USER FEE BY APRIL 30, 2017 AND BY JANUARY 1, IN EACH SUBSEQUENT CALENDAR YEAR (4VAC 20-720-15(B). •NO NEW SALES OF OYSTER ALL GEAR USER FEES UNTIL THE NUMBER OF USER FEE HOLDERS DROPS BELOW 600 (4VAC20-720-15(C) •INDIVIDUALS MAY TRANSFER AN OYSTER ALL GEAR USER FEE TO IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS OR TO ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL, IF THE TRANSFERRING INDIVIDUAL HAS 40 OR MORE DAYS OF OYSTER HARVEST THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR (4VAC20-720-15(D). •EXCEPTIONS TO MAINTENANCE OF ELIGIBILITY TO PURCHASE THE OYSTER ALL GEAR USER FEE MAY BE GRANTED BASED ON DOCUMENTATION FOR MEDICAL HARDSHIP OR ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE. THE COMMISSION DID NOT APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO CHANGE THE AREAS IN TANGIER AND POCOMOKE SOUND. THIS ISSUE WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE SHELL FISH ADVISORY BOARD FOR DISCUSSION. [audio]

14. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING To allow oyster harvesters using hand tongs only to pass through an oyster sanctuary as long as they are not carrying oysters on board.

PAGE 2 ITEMS [audio]

A. BAE SYSTEMS, #13-0827 Requests authorization to modify an existing VMRC subaqueous permit to include adjustment of the footprint of the current buoys and security barrier, the addition of five (5) new anchor buoys and an additional 544 linear feet of security barrier at their facility located along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River at 750 West Berkeley Avenue in the City of Norfolk. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS PROPOSED.



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