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COMMISSION ACTIONS OCTOBER 25, 2011

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE MEETING AGENDA 9-0, WITH ALL COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT.
[Audio Agenda]  

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED LAST MONTH'S AMENDED MINUTES 9-0, AFTER RESEARCHING HOW ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER TANKARD VOTED ON A PARTICULAR AGENDA ITEM AT LAST MONTH'S MEETING.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE THREE SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS 2A, 2B AND 2C, WERE APPROVED 9-0.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSNONE.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  A CLOSED MEETING WAS HELD WITH LEGAL COUNSEL TO DISCUSS THE CHINCOTEAGUE INN'S LEGAL APPEAL OF A COMMISSION DECISION.
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5.  DISCUSSION:  Proposed permit process for applications requesting authorization to remove submerged timber logs from State-owned bottomlands.  This matter was tabled from the September 27th Commission hearing.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO APPROVE AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE HARVESTING OF SUBMERGED HARDWOOD LOGS ON STATE-OWNED WATERBOTTOMS, IN KEEPING WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION.  THE PROCESS WILL REQUIRE HARVESTERS TO OBTAIN FROM THE AGENCY A ONE-YEAR PERMIT, AT A COST OF $100, GOOD FOR A DESIGNATED STRETCH OF WATERBOTTOM FOR THE PROMPT REMOVAL OF SALVAGED LOGS TO BE BROUGHT ASHORE AT PRIVATE BOAT RAMPS OR PRIVATE ACCESS POINTS WITH THE PROPERTY OWNER'S PERMISSION.  LOG REMOVAL MUST BE DOCUMENTED AND REPORTED TO AGENCY STAFF WITHIN 15 DAYS, AND A MILL VOLUME TICKET MUST BE PRESENTED, AND A ROYALTY PAID FOR EACH BOARD FOOT SALVAGED.  THE COMMISSION ALSO DECIDED HARVESTERS MUST PRESENT AN ANNUAL REPORT TO THE AGENCY.
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6.  FERDINAND C. DUGAN III, #11-0878, requests authorization to install an approximately 158 linear foot riprap revetment against a failing bulkhead, and retain a 45-foot long, riprap, marsh toe sill adjacent to property situated along the Potomac River in Westmoreland County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT PER STAFF RECOMMENDATION WITH A $600 CIVIL CHARGE AND TRIPLE PERMIT FEES FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A SILL WITHOUT AN AGENCY PERMIT.
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7.  BUBBA'S MARINA, #01-1979/ #11-0583.  Dimitrios and Josee Hionis request after-the-fact authorization to retain the glass door enclosures installed around the channelward portion of their commercial wharf facility known as Bubba's Shellfish Market at 3323 Shore Drive situated along the Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach; and to allow the placement of tables and chairs, including a bar/counter, and on-premises consumption of food, beer, wine and mixed beverages on the previously authorized deck for seafood unloading constructed over State-owned submerged land.  THE COMMISSON VOTED TO GRANT A SIX-MONTH EXTENSION TO THE APPLICANT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ENOUGH TIME TO OBTAIN ALL THE NECESSARY CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH PERMITS FOR THE RESTAURANT THAT WAS CREATED FROM A PIER ORIGINALLY PERMITTED FOR THE OFFLOADING AND PROCESSING OF SEAFOOD.  THE CITY HAS SIGNALED IT ENDORSES THE NEW USE OF THE PIER, BUT THAT ADDITIONAL TIME IS NEEDED TO FINALIZE PARKING, AND OTHER, DETAILS.  THE COMMISSION GRANTED AN INTERIM PERMIT SO THAT THE APPLICANT ISN'T IN TECHNICAL VIOLATION OF HIS ORIGINAL PIER PERMIT OVER THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.  THE COMMISSION MADE IT CLEAR IT IS NOT HAPPY THAT THE PIER WAS CONVERTED TO A RESTAURANT WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL, AND WILL CONSIDER THE APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS FOR DOING SO IN SIX MONTHS. THE VOTE WAS 6-1-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION BILL LAINE VOTING AGAINST GRANTING A SIX-MONTH EXTENSION AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS BRYAN PLUMLEE AND JOSEPH PALMER ABSTAINING FROM THE DISCUSSION AND VOTE. 
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8.  WILLIAM H. KIRBY, #2000-051.  Request for oyster planting ground in the Northwest Branch of the Severn River in Gloucester County.  The application is protested by an adjoining property owner, Mr. Steven C. Wann, who also has a pending application for a portion of the same area (#2000-87).  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO APPROVE THE APPLICANT'S REQUEST TO LEASE SOME OYSTER GROUND IN THE NORTHWEST BRANCH OF THE SEVERN RIVER, IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF RECOMMENDATION THAT GRANTED LESS ACREAGE THAN REQUESTED AND ESTABLISHED AN UNLEASED BUFFER BY A NEIGHBOR'S PIER.
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9.  STEVEN C. WANN, #2000-087.  Request for oyster planting ground in the Northwest Branch of the Severn River in Gloucester County.  The application is protested by an adjoining property owner, Mr. William H. Kirby, who also has a pending application covering the same area (#2000-51).  THE APPLICANT WITHDREW HIS APPLICATION.

10. PUBLIC COMMENTS.  MR. HOYT DUFF, WHO OWNS THE LYNNHAVEN FISHING PIER IN VIRGINIA BEACH, TOLD THE COMMISSION THAT HAUL SEINE FISHING WITHIN 300 YARDS OF HIS FACILITY HAS SEVERELY CURTAILED HIS PAYING CUSTOMER'S ABILITY TO CATCH FISH THIS FALL. COMMISSIONER BOWMAN NOTED THAT HE RECEIVED WORD OF THE SITUATION THAT MORNING AND IMMEDIATELY INSTRUCTED STAFF TO WORK ON THE MATTER.  FISHERIES CHIEF JACK TRAVELSTEAD TOLD MR. DUFF THAT THE NETS ARE BEING FISHED LAWFULLY, ADDING THAT STATE LAW PROHIBITS THEIR USE WITHIN 300 YARDS OF A COMMERCIAL FISHING PIER ANDTHAT LAW DOES NOT ALLOW THE VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSON TO WIDEN THAT NO-NET ZONE AROUND THOSE TYPES OF PIERS.

Also, Commissioner Bowman presented former Associate Commissioner Dr. John R. McConaugha with a Certificate of Distinguished Service. Dr. McConaugha, an Associate Professor at Old Dominion University, served four years on the Commission and provided an invaluable scientific perspective, particularly to the rebuilding of the blue crab stock.  His four years of "loyal and dedicated service" is an excellent example of a gentleman with a true spirit of stewardship, said Commissioner Bowman.
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11. PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-620-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Summer Flounder", to modify the fall commercial directed offshore management measures.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO OPEN THE FALL COMMERCIAL FLOUNDER SEASON ON NOV. 14, TO INCREASE THE VESSEL LANDING LIMIT TO 10,000 POUNDS EVERY 15 DAYS AND TO INCREASE THE VESSEL POSSESSION LIMIT TO 20,000 POUNDS.
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12. PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-910-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Scup (Porgy)" to adjust commercial fishery management measures.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO INCREASE THE SCUP WINTER II TRIP LIMIT TO 8,000 POUNDS, INCREASE THE SUMMER PERIOD QUOTA TO 13,085 POUNDS AND TO ADJUST THE WINTER I LANDING PERIOR FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS.
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13. FAILURE TO REPORT COMMERCIAL HARVEST CASES.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO PUT THREE WATERMEN ON A YEAR EACH OF PROBATION FOR LENGTHY HISTORIES OF FAILING TO TIMELY REPORT THEIR CATCH, AS REQUIRED, AND IGNORING MULTIPLE LETTERS FROM STAFF TO DO SO. IN ADDITION, ONE OF THE WATERMEN SAW HIS LICENSE SUSPENDED UNTIL HIS MANDATORY REPORTS ARE FILED.
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14. BLUE CRAB UPDATE:  Review of 2011 harvest and discussion of long term management process.  THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZED FISHERIES CHIEF JACK TRAVELSTEAD TO PROCEED WITH HIS PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A NEW ADVISORY PANEL TO HELP CRAFT A LONG-TERM VISION FOR THE BLUE CRAB FISHERY AND AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN.  THE PANEL WILL BE CHOSEN BY COMMISSIONER BOWMAN AND WILL HAVE BROAD MEMBERSHIP TO REPRESENT ALL CRAB GEAR USERS FROM ALL GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS OF THE STATE, AS WELL AS CRAB PROCESSORS AND PACKING HOUSES. ADDITIONAL REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE CHOSEN FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ACADEMIC COMMUNITIES, AND AVENUES OF INPUT WILL BE OFFERED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.  THIS PANEL WILL WORK ON HOW THE CRAB FISHERY SHOULD LOOK OVER THE NEXT 5, 10 AND 20 YEARS, AND HOW TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS.  TO GET STARTED, STAFF WILL DO A CRAB INDUSTRY-WIDE SURVEY TO GET THE INPUT OF AVERAGE WATERMEN.  TRAVELSTEAD NOTED THAT THIS PANEL WILL NOT SUPPLANT THE CURRENT CRAB MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE, WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO BE VERY ACTIVE IN REVIEWING, AND MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS ON, SHORT-TERM CRAB REGULATION CHANGES.
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15. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposal to adopt emergency amendments that established the 2011/12 James River Seed Quota and monitoring requirements, as final amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO SET AN ANNUAL QUOTA OF OYSTER SEED TAKEN FROM THE JAMES RIVER AND TO SET A 40,000 BUSHEL LIMIT FROM OCTOBER THROUGH DECEMBER.  THIS ACTION CODIFIED AN EMERGENCY MEASURE APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION IN SEPTEMBER.
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16. REQUEST FOR DECEMBER PUBLIC HEARING: to revise commercial and recreational fisheries' management measures, (Chapter 4VAC20-960-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Tautog") in accordance with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS NEXT MEETING, ON DECEMBER 6, TO SET REGULATIONS TO REDUCE THE COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL TAUTOG CATCH NEXT YEAR BY 53 PERCENT, AS REQUIRED BY THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION, WHICH HAS DETERMINED THE COAST-WIDE TAUTOG STOCK IS OVERFISHED AND OVERFISHING IS OCCURING.
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17. REQUEST FOR DECEMBER PUBLIC HEARING: to establish 2012 commercial and recreational striped bass quotas (4VAC20-252-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass").  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE AT ITS NEXT MEETING, ON DECEMBER 6, TO SET THE 2012 STRIPED BASS REGULATIONS, OPTIONS FOR WHICH WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL AFTER THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER TO DETERMINE IF A QUOTA REDUCTION IS NECESSARY.
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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 9-0::

2A.  KEY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC, #11-1073, requests authorization to replace the existing Route 61 Bridge in the Town of Narrows by constructing an approximately 1,142-foot long by approximately 50-foot wide, two-lane bridge with sidewalks, crossing 480 linear feet of the of the New River in Giles County.  All work will be accomplished utilizing coffer dams and temporary causeways.  Permittee shall execute a transfer of this permit to VDOT upon VDOT'S acceptance of the structures authorized herein.

2B.  CITY OF WAYNESBORO, #11-1230, requests authorization to replace the existing Route 250/Broad Street Bridge deck in the City of Waynesboro.  The new bridge deck will be approximately 285-feet long and approximately 64-feet wide, crossing 110 linear feet of the South River in Augusta County.  There will be no in-stream work during demolition or construction of the new bridge deck. 

2C.  U. S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #04-1327, requests a modification to their existing permit to place hydraulically dredged material from the two (2) Federal Project Channels at Tangier, along the western shore of the island, south of the existing seawall.  The modification will increase the cubic yards, per dredge cycle from 65,000 to 100,000 cubic yards of dredged material within the already permitted disposal site.  The permit modification is contingent on the expiration of the public interest review period, provided there are no objections to the project. All other permit conditions would remain unchanged.
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THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WAS APPROVED 9-0:   

NONE.


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