Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 28.2. Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters
Chapter 6. Planting Grounds

§ 28.2-613. Duration of lease.

Each assignment of general oyster-planting ground shall continue in force for 10 years from the date of assignment, unless the assignment is terminated. The interest in such ground is chattel real.

Upon the death of the renter, testate as to the lease, it shall vest in the named beneficiary subject to the rights of creditors, if he is a resident of this Commonwealth, provided that he files an application for transfer with the Commission within 18 months after the date of death. If the named beneficiary is not a resident he shall have 18 months after the date of death to transfer the lease to a qualified holder.

Upon the death of the renter, intestate as to the lease, the lease shall vest in the personal representative, who shall transfer the lease to a qualified holder within 18 months.

If there is no qualification on the renter's estate within one year of his death, the Commission may within six months thereafter transfer the lease to a qualified holder upon receipt of a transfer duly executed by all of the lawful heirs of the renter.

If there is no transfer under any of the above, the ground shall become vacant and open to assignment.

Upon expiration of the initial or any subsequent term of the assignment, the Commission shall, on application of the holder, renew the assignment for an additional 10-year term. The Commission shall not renew or extend an assignment where there has been no significant production of oysters or clams, no reasonable plantings of oysters, clams or cultch or no significant oyster or clam aquaculture operation, during any portion of the 10-year period immediately prior to the application for renewal, unless the Commission finds that there was good cause for the failure to produce or plant oysters, clams or cultch or finds that the assignment is directly related to and beneficial to the production of oyster-planting grounds immediately adjacent to the assignment. In determining whether there was good cause for the failure to produce or plant oysters, clams, or cultch, in addition to other factors, the Commission shall decide whether the renewal is in the public interest considering the factors in subsection A of § 28.2-1205, the prevalence of the diseases MSX and Dermo, the public benefits and impacts of shellfish aquaculture, and whether the oyster-planting ground has traditionally produced commercial quantities of oysters or clams. The Commission shall set by regulation a fee structure for renewal fees to be paid by applicants. Such fees shall seek to reflect the cost to the Commission of processing the renewal application, but shall not exceed $300.

Code 1950, § 28-124; 1954, c. 352; 1958, c. 183; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-109(12); 1964, c. 393; 1966, c. 684; 1970, c. 726; 1972, c. 644; 1973, c. 14; 1978, cc. 546, 548; 1980, cc. 34, 609; 1984, c. 259; 1992, c. 836; 1996, c. 985; 1997, c. 259; 2019, c. 164.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.