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COMMISSION ACTIONS SEPTEMBER 2012

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  AFTER PULLING AGENDA ITEM 16 FROM CONSIDERATION AT THE REQUEST OF DR. ORTH OF VIMS, THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE AGENDA 5-0.  COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS LAINE, SCHICK AND PALMER WERE ABSENT FROM THE MEETING, WHICH WAS CHAIRED BY ASSOCIATE MEMBER RICK ROBINS.
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1.  MINUTES of previous meeting/Approval of a correction to the June 2012 meeting minutes.  THE MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION'S AUGUST MEETING WERE APPROVED 5-0, AS WAS A CORRECTION TO A TYPO IN THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION'S JUNE MEETING.
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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 ITEMS 2A AND 2B, WERE APPROVED 5-0, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHIS SINGLE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL IS ITEM 3A, WAS APPROVED 5-0 WITH A TRIPLE PERMIT FEE OF $75, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.
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5.  YANKEE POINT RACING AND CRUISING CLUB, #12-0018, requests authorization to construct a 70-foot long pier with a 50-foot L-head adjacent to leased property on Meyer Creek at 734 Oak Hill Road in Lancaster County for transient use by club members.  The project is protested by one adjacent property owner and several nearby property owners, as well as the owners of the Yankee Point Sailboat Marina.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT WITH SPECIAL CONDITIONS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF, SPECIFICALLY REDUCING THE LENGTH OF THE PIER TO A TOTAL OF 50 FEET CHANNELWARD OF MEAN LOW WATER AND WITH A ROYALTY ASSESSED AT A RATE OF $1.50 PER SQUARE FOOT OF THE BOLD OUTLINE OF THE FACILITY.  THE COMMISSION ALSO SPECIFIED THAT IT COULD DIRECT A MODIFICATION OR REMOVAL OF THE PIER IF THE VIRGINIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT DETERMINES THAT AN EXPANSION OF THE CONDEMNATION AREA IS NECESSITATED AS A RESULT OF VESSELS MOORING AT THE PIER.   GEORGE BOTT, JOHN HENLEY, RITA THEISEN, JOEL DUGAN, ELLEN DUGAN, AND WILEY WRIGHT SPOKE IN FAVOR OF THE APPLICATION.  KEN KNULL, KAREN PATTERSON, KAREN KNULL, WAYNE BISHOP, JOHN HALL, AND MIKE HUGHES SPOKE IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROJECT.
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6.  COLUMBIA GAS OF VIRGINIA, #12-0606, requests authorization to dredge 23,146 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.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT WITH SPECIAL CONDITIONS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF REQUIRING THE APPLICANT TO ADHERE TO THE CONTROLS DETAILED IN THE "REMEDIAL ACTION WORK PLAN," AND WITH THE INCLUSION OF THE COMMISSION'S STANDARD DREDGING CONDITIONS AND LIGHTING OF THE TURBIDITY CURTAIN IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. COAST GUARD REQUIREMENTS.  A DREDGING ROYALTY OF $4,629.20 WAS ALSO ASSESSED FOR THE REMOVAL OF 23,146 CUBIC YARDS OF STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF $0.20 PER CUBIC YARD.   MS. SIDNEY RICE REPRESENTED THE APPLICANT.
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7.  MT. BLANCO PARK ASSOCIATION INC., #12-1000, requests authorization to install a 200 square foot concrete boat ramp creating impacts to 170 square feet of vegetated and non-vegetated tidal wetlands for the Mount Blanco Park Association community boat ramp on property situated along the James River at 12100 Sloan Drive in Chesterfield County.  A Wetlands Permit is required.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF, WITH A CONDITION THAT THE APPLICANT MUST CREATE VEGETATED WETLANDS ON SITE TO COMPENSATE FOR THE WETLANDS IMPACTED BY THE PROJECT AND WITH A CONDITION REQUIRING THE APPLICANT TO OBTAIN ALL LOCAL APPROVALS BEFORE STARTING THE PROJECT.  ROBERT MCGRUDER SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT.
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8.  COASTAL PRECAST SYSTEMS, #12-1189, requests authorization to install a bulkhead, mooring dolphins, concrete piers, and to conduct new work dredging and maintenance dredging for the construction of a new travel lift system adjacent to their facility at 1316 Yacht Drive situated on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake.  The project will require both Subaqueous and Wetlands permits.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF, WITH SPECIAL CONDITIONS REQUIRING THE USE OF TURBIDITY CURTAINS AROUND THE WORK SITE BETWEEN FEBRUARY 15 AND JUNE 15, AND THE COMMISSION'S STANDARD DREDGING CONDITIONS.  A ROYALTY OF $12,090.00 WAS ASSESSED FOR THE DREDGING OF 8,000 CUBIC YARDS OF STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND AT A RATE OF $0.45 PER CUBIC YARD AND FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE STRUCTURES OVER 4,245 SQUARE FEET OF STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND AT A RATE OF $2.00 PER SQUARE FOOT.   TO MITIGATE FOR THE IMPACTS TO WETLANDS, THE APPLICANT AGREED TO PURCHASE 5,687 SQUARE FEET OF WETLAND CREDITS FROM THE LIBERTYVILLE MITIGATION BANK.   REBECCA FRANCISE REPRESENTED THE APPLICANTS.
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9.  DAVID and LEE-ANN FICK, (t/a Nandua Oyster Co., LLC), #12-0581, request authorization to change the use of their pier and boathouse from private use to commercial to facilitate their oyster aquaculture operations along Nandua Creek at 13348 Full Measure Lane in the Pungoteague area of Accomack County.  The applicants have also requested to retain a 20-foot by 8-foot floating upweller, a 29.5-foot by 17.3-foot platform and construct an open-sided roof structure over the platform that will include an upweller tank and grading equipment.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT WITH THE ASSESSMENT OF A ROYALTY OF $2,842.50 FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL DECK AREAS OVER 1,895 SQUARE FEET OF STATE-OWNED SUBMERGED LAND AT A RATE OF $1.50 PER SQUARE FOOT, AND FOR THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE FLOATING UPWELLER OVER 160 SQUARE FEET AT A RATE OF $0.05 PER SQUARE FOOT.  THE COMMISSION ALSO AGREED TO ACCEPT A CIVIL CHARGE OF $1,000 FOR THE AFTER-THE-FACT CONSTRUCTION, IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION.  A SPECIAL CONDITION LIMITS COMMERCIAL AQUACULTURE ACTIVITY TO THE LANDWARD PORTION OF THE PIER DEEMED TO BE COMMERCIAL.  MR. AND MRS. FICK BOTH SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THEIR APPLICATION.
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10.  RAM ISLAND ROD AND GUNNING CLUB, INC., Notice to Comply #12-03 to Lloyd C. Riggs Jr.  Briefing regarding title information and Commission jurisdiction over use of subaqueous bottom in Back Bay in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach related to the expansion of the Ram Island Rod and Gunning Club, Inc., structure including a second story, power poles, power line and attached decking and piers.  THE COMMISSION REVIEWED GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND CONSIDERED THE ORAL ARGUMENTS PRESENTED BY ATTORNEY JOHN DANIEL ON BEHALF OF THE RAM ISLAND ROD AND GUN CLUB AND THE RIGGS FAMILY, BEFORE VOTING 3-2 TO DIRECT THE SUBMITTAL OF AN AFTER-THE-FACT APPLICATION FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED STRUCTURES.  THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED TO SUSPEND WITHOUT PREJUDICE THE CURRENT ENFORCEMENT ACTION PENDING REVIEW OF THE APPLICATION.
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11.  PUBLIC COMMENTS.  WATERMAN MIKE SHACKELFORD REQUESTED THE COMMISSION ISSUE HIM A COMMERCIAL DOGFISH LICENSE, ALTHOUGH IT IS A LIMITED ENTRY FISHERY AND HE WAS PREVIOUSLY DEEMED NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A PERMIT.  THE COMMISSION TOOK NO ACTION ON THE REQUEST AND REFERRED THE MATTER TO THE FINFISH MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR DISCUSSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE FISHERY. 
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12. REQUEST FOR AN OCTOBER 30, 2012 PUBLIC HEARING ON BLUE CRAB FISHERY AND MANAGEMENT ISSUES: (1) Staff- recommended closure of the crab dredge fishery for the 2012-2013 season (4VAC20-1140-20 et seq., "Pertaining to Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia Waters"); (2) Extension of the 2012 crab pot season and recommended bushel limits for conservation equivalency (4VAC20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing"); (3) Conformity of blue crab closed harvest seasons within sanctuary areas (4VAC20-752-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Blue Crab Sanctuaries" and 4VAC20-1210-10 et seq., "Pertaining to a Blue Crab Sanctuary"); (4) Proposed regulation to restrict commercial crabbing activities in the Albemarle watershed to crab pots and peeler pots.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE NEXT MONTH ON WHETHER TO CLOSE THE WINTER CRAB DREDGE FISHERY; ALLOW ONLY CRAB POTS AND PEELER POTS TO BE USED IN THE BACK BAY CRAB FISHERY; AND TO CONSIDER ADDING TWO WEEKS TO THIS YEAR'S FALL CRAB POT SEASON THAT ENDS IN NOVEMBER, PROVIDED THE CATCH IS RESTRICTED IN ANOTHER WAY TO COMPENSATE FOR AN INCREASED FALL CRAB HARVEST.
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13.  RECOMMENDATION:  Consideration of the recommendations of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Board and the Commercial Fishing Advisory Board.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE THE FUNDING OF 10 PROJECTS RECOMMENDED BY THE RECREATIONAL FISHING ADVISORY BOARD.
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14.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to 4VAC 20-960-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Tautog" to adjust the commercial and recreational management measures for the 2013 season.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-0 TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE NEXT MONTH TO SET THE 2013 COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL TAUTOG REGULATIONS.
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15.  POUND NETS:  Mr. Curtis A. Heath of Townsend, Virginia, has applied to license and locate a pound net at new locations in the lower eastern Chesapeake Bay. There are public comments in opposition to this new pound net location.  THE POUND NET APPLICATION WAS DENIED, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION. 
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16.  VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE: Presentation of Dr. Bob Orth's annual review of the status of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.  THIS MATTER WAS PULLED FROM CONSIDERATION AT THIS COMMISSION MEETING AT THE REQUEST OF DR. ORTH.
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17.  FAILURE TO REPORT- Robert R. Grasty.  THE COMMISSION PUT A COMMERCIAL WATERMAN ON PROBATION FOR TWO YEARS FOR FAILING TO FILE TIMELY HARVEST REPORTS.
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THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED 5-0:

2A.  CITY OF NORFOLK, #12-0666, requests authorization to remove seven existing timber groins and install seven breakwaters, with maximum dimensions of 180 feet long by approximately 40 feet wide, to relocate one existing breakwater and rehabilitate a terminal groin, and to place 40,500 cubic yards of sandy material landward of the breakwater as beach nourishment between 8th View Street and Lea View Avenue situated along Chesapeake Bay in the City of Norfolk. 

2B.  U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS and CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH, #12-0967, request authorization to maintenance dredge the Rudee Inlet federal navigational channel connecting Lake Rudee and Lake Wesley to the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach. Dredging will occur either by hydraulic or hopper-dredge methods on an as-necessary basis, with sidecast dredging utilized as an emergency measure.  The entrance channel portion will be dredged to maximum depths of -14 feet mean lower low water and the sand trap portion dredged to maximum depths of -20 feet mean lower low water.  Approximately 350,000 cubic yards of sandy spoils dredged annually from the federal navigational channel will be hydraulically pumped to the resort beach area, or released/placed in the near-shore beach area, north of Rudee Inlet. 

THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WAS APPROVED 5-0:

3A.  GARY WOJCIECHOWSKI, #12-0926, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 10-foot by 15-foot floating dock and to install 52.5 linear feet of 5-foot wide finger pier and 33-foot by 16-foot open sided roof to create a covered boat slip on an existing private pier along the Poquoson River at 12 Bayview Drive in the City of Poquoson. 


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