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COMMISSION ACTIONS August 22, 2017

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE AGENDA AS PRESENTED [audio]

1. MINUTES of previous meeting. APPROVED THE MINUTES AS WRITTEN 8-0-1. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER MINOR ABSTAINED [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. CHARLES ALLEN, #16-1896 Requests authorization to construct a 450-square foot deck addition, a 80-foot long by 5-foot wide tending pier, and relocate an existing boat lift on to an existing 70-foot long private noncommercial pier, adjacent to property situated along Lower Machodoc Creek at 2130 South Tidwells Road in Westmoreland County. The pier is protested by the oyster ground leaseholder and a nearby property owner. APPROVED 7-1-1 AS REVISED WITH THE ADDITION OF THE UNCOVERED BOAT LIFTS ALONG THE AUTHORIZED PIER EXTENSION. COMMISSIONER BULL VOTED AGAINST THE MOTION AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FRANCE ABSTAINED. [audio]

6. THOMAS H. JAMES III, Oyster Planting Ground Application #2015-207 Requests authorization to lease 125 acres of Oyster Planting Ground in the Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Beach in Northampton County. The project is protested by adjacent property owners. VOTED TO DENY THE APPLICATION 8-0-1. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BALLARD ABSTAINED. [audio]

7. SCOTT GRIFFITH, Oyster Planting Ground Application #2014-079 Requests authorization to lease approximately 15 acres of oyster planting grounds within the Western Branch Corrotoman River in Lancaster County. The application is protested by numerous nearby highland property owners. VOTED TO DENY 7-2. ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS MINOR AND FRANCE OPPOSED. [audio]

8. ANDREW MILES COCKRELL and ANDREW DANDRIDGE COCKRELL, Oyster Planting Ground Application #2014-297 Request authorization to lease 36.0 acres within Whays Creek in Northumberland County. The application is protested by a number of highland property owners in the area. UNANIMOUSLY DENIED. [audio]

9. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING Update to Chapter 4 VAC 20-120-10 ET SEQ. "Pertaining to the Promulgation of a Public Notice on Applications to Encroach In, On, or Over Subaqueous Lands of the Commonwealth." UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING AT THE OCTOBER MEETING. [audio]

10. DISCUSSION Commission consideration of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) guidance for criteria defining SAV beds and delineating areas where there is potential for SAV restoration. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE GUIDANCE AS PROPOSED. [audio]

11. PUBLIC COMMENTS Jim Wesson made comments about two oyster sanctuaries next to private leases where the spat set and growth should be larger based on the survey and replenishment. He asked law enforcement to watch this area. [audio]

12. OFFENDERS: THE COMMISSION HEARD 2 CASES OF OFFENDERS WITH NATURAL RESOURCE VIOLATIONS. [audio]

13. PUBLIC HEARING Proposal to amend Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest," to establish the 2017-2018 areas of public harvest, public oyster harvest seasons, and management measures. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4 VAC 20-720-10 ESTABLISHING THE 2017-2018 HARVEST SEASONS AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES. THE MANAGEMENT MEASURES INCLUDED; STAGGERING THE OPENING OF PUBLIC GROUNDS TO ENSURE THAT MULTIPLE HARVEST AREAS ARE OPEN CONCURRENTLY THROUGHOUT THE ESTABLISHED SEASON; SUB DIVIDING AN AREA IN THE GREAT WICOMICO RIVER INTO A NEW TWO-YEAR ROTATIONAL HARVEST AREA; SPLITTING THE CURRENT JAMES RIVER HAND SCRAPE AREAS IN HALF AND THE STAGGERING THE OPENING OF EACH TO ALLOW A PORTION TO BE OPENED CONCURRENTLY WITH A PORTION OF THE LOWER RAPPAHANNOCK IN AN ATTEMPT TO ADDRESS CONCERNS OF OVERCROWDING IN SOME HARVEST AREAS; ALLOWING PATENT TONGS TO BE USED IN ONE AREA OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK PRIOR TO IT BEING OPENED TO HAND SCRAPE HARVEST TO ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS TO UTILIZE THIS POTENTIALLY LESS DAMAGING GEAR TYPE THROUGHOUT THE OYSTER SEASON; DECREASED THE VESSEL HARVEST LIMIT FROM 24 BUSHELS TO 16 BUSHELS IN LIEU OF THE 24 BUSHEL VESSEL LIMIT AND A 4 DAY WORK WEEK; WILL ALLOW THE RE-HARVEST OF THE PORTION OF THE JAMES RIVER SEED OYSTER QUOTA THAT ARE PLANTED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 31ST AFTER JANUARY 1ST AND MAINTAIN THE JUNE 1ST RESTRICTION ON RE-HARVEST FOR THE PORTION OF THE JAMES RIVER SEED QUOTA CAUGHT AFTER DECEMBER 31ST; AND CHANGED THE TIME OF DAY RESTRICTIONS ON LEAVING THE DOCK WITH A HAND SCRAPE ON BOARD A VESSEL TO COINCIDE WITH THE DREDGE GEAR AT ONE HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE. [audio]

14. DISCUSSION Overview of VMRC Artificial Reef Program. [audio]

15. DISCUSSION Overview of VMRC Biological Sampling Program. [audio]

PAGE 2 ITEMS [audio]

A. NORFOLK SOUTHERN, #17-0873 Requests authorization to modify a previously authorized permit (#11-0102) to maintenance dredge, on an as-needed basis, up to 35,000 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous material per dredge cycle, to maintain maximum depths of -53 feet at mean low water on either side of Pier 6 and -38 feet at mean low water on the south side of Pier 5, at the Norfolk Southern facility at Lamberts Point located along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MODIFICATION AS PROPOSED.



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