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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 345. General Wetlands Permit for Emergency Situations
4/4/2020

4VAC20-345-40. Procedures for Issuing Permit.

A. The commissioner or his designee, Chief, Habitat Management Division, will oversee administration of the provisions of the general wetlands permit.

B. An approved Local-State-Federal Permit Application form, or the abbreviated General Permit #4 Application form, must be completed and filed in accordance with the instructions contained therein. This application may be submitted directly to the chairman or board in those localities that have adopted and are locally administering the local wetlands zoning ordinance.

C. The board chairman, or vice-chairman in his absence, is empowered to issue the general wetlands permit upon a finding by the local wetlands board that:

1. An emergency exists and vegetated wetlands would not be impacted by the project. This finding shall be verified by a subsequent site inspection of the property by at least two members of the board.

2. The environmental impacts associated with issuance of the general wetlands permit are minimal and fall below a predetermined threshold or level of resource impacted. This level of impact will be an average of one square foot per running foot of shoreline.

3. The activities authorized under the general wetlands permit will have minimal impact on any adjoining property owner. In the event potential impacts are deemed to exceed this minimum, written concurrence by the adjoining property owner will be required.

4. The proposed structure, and its placement, meet standard regulatory guidelines and would, in the opinion of the chairman, likely be authorized or approved by the other state and federal regulatory agencies.

5. The proposed stabilization, materials and the encroachment sought are the minimum necessary to address the situation.

D. If the chairman determines that issuance of the general wetlands permit is in the public interest, the requirement for advertisement and public hearing will be satisfied.

E. Within 48 hours of his determination, the chairman shall notify the commissioner of his finding and intent to issue the general wetlands permit.

F. The commissioner shall review all decisions of the chairman. If within five days of receiving the chairman's notification, the commissioner believes that the decision does not conform with the standards prescribed in § 28.2-1308 of the Code of Virginia, the guidelines promulgated pursuant to § 28.2-1301 of the Code of Virginia, or the purpose and intent of this chapter, he may request that the decision be reviewed by the full board at one of its regularly scheduled public hearings.

G. After public hearing, the commission may revoke the general permit in any locality where it finds that the board's decisions have failed to conform with the standards and guidelines of the Code of Virginia or the purpose and intent of this chapter.

H. The general permit will be valid for a maximum period of 90 days from date of issuance. Failure to commence the project within that time will necessitate submittal of a new application and reevaluation.

I. In the event the waterfront property owner fails to qualify for the general wetlands permit, he may submit the standard joint Local-State-Federal Application form and proceed through the normal public interest review process.

J. A nonrefundable fee may be assessed for each general wetlands permit issued. The permit issuing fee shall be set by the applicable governing body with due regard for the services rendered.

K. The general wetlands permit shall be in writing and must accurately describe the project, including appropriate drawings with sufficient tie-down reference points to enable follow-up compliance checks, and be signed by the chairman.

L. The general wetlands permit may not be used to authorize any new groin or jetty structures.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-103 and 28.2-1307 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 14, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 18, eff. May 4, 1998.

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