Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 28.2. Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters
Chapter 14. Coastal Primary Sand Dunes and Beaches
12/1/2022

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 28.2-1400. Definitions.

A. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Beach" means the shoreline zone comprised of unconsolidated sandy material upon which there is a mutual interaction of the forces of erosion, sediment transport and deposition that extends from the low water line landward to where there is a marked change in either material composition or physiographic form such as a dune, bluff, or marsh, or where no such change can be identified, to the line of woody vegetation (usually the effective limit of stormwaves), or the nearest impermeable man-made structure, such as a bulkhead, revetment, or paved road.

"Coastal primary sand dune" or "dune" means a mound of unconsolidated sandy soil which is contiguous to mean high water, whose landward and lateral limits are marked by a change in grade from ten percent or greater to less than ten percent, and upon which is growing any of the following species: American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata); beach heather (Hudsonia tomentosa); dune bean (Strophostyles spp.); dusty miller (Artemisia stelleriana); saltmeadow hay (Spartina patens); seabeach sandwort (Honckenya peploides); sea oats (Uniola paniculata); sea rocket (Cakile edentula); seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens); Japanese sedge or Asiatic sand sedge (Carex kobomugi); Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana); broom sedge (Andropogon virginicus); and short dune grass (Panicum amarum). For purposes of this chapter, "coastal primary sand dune" or "dune" shall not include any mound of sand, sandy soil, or dredge spoil deposited by any person for the purpose of temporary storage, beach replenishment or beach nourishment, nor shall the slopes of any such mound be used to determine the landward or lateral limits of a coastal primary sand dune.

"Coastal primary sand dune zoning ordinance" means the ordinance set forth in § 28.2-1403.

"County, city or town" means the governing body of the county, city or town.

"Governmental activity" means any of the services provided by Commonwealth or a county, city or town to its citizens for the purpose of maintaining public facilities, including but not limited to, such services as constructing, repairing and maintaining roads; providing street lights and sewage facilities; supplying and treating water; and constructing public buildings.

"Wetlands board" or "board" means the board created pursuant to § 28.2-1303.

B. Although separately defined in subsection A of this section, the terms "coastal primary sand dune," "dune," and "beach," when used in this chapter, shall be interchangeable.

1980, c. 660, §§ 62.1-13.21, 62.1-13.22; 1984, c. 556; 1985, c. 589; 1987, c. 499; 1989, c. 342; 1992, c. 836; 1994, c. 112; 1998, c. 160; 2008, c. 20.

§ 28.2-1401. Powers and duties of Commission.

A. The Commission may receive gifts, grants, bequests, and devises of coastal primary sand dunes, beaches, and money which shall be held for the uses prescribed by the donor, grantor, or testator and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

B. The Commission shall preserve and protect coastal primary sand dunes and beaches and prevent their despoliation and destruction. Whenever practical, the Commission shall accommodate necessary economic development in a manner consistent with the protection of these features. The Commission shall manage any coastal primary sand dunes and beaches it receives as provided in Article 2 (§ 28.2-1503 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of this title.

C. In order to perform its duties under this section and to assist counties, cities and towns in regulating coastal primary sand dunes and beaches, the Commission shall, with the advice and assistance of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, promulgate guidelines which describe the consequences of use of these dunes and beaches.

D. In developing guidelines or regulations under this chapter, the Commission shall consult with all affected state agencies. Consistent with other legal rights, consideration shall be given to the importance of coastal primary sand dunes with their unique physiographic features which, in their natural state, serve as protective barriers from the effects of flooding and erosion caused by coastal storms, thereby protecting life and property; provide an essential source of natural sand replenishment for beaches and an important natural habitat for coastal fauna; and enhance the scenic and recreational attractiveness of Virginia's coastal area.

1972, c. 711, § 62.1-13.17; 1980, c. 660, §§ 62.1-13.21, 62.1-13.24; 1984, c. 556; 1989, c. 342; 1992, c. 836; 1994, c. 112; 1995, c. 850.

§ 28.2-1402. Expired.

Expired.