September 9, 2003
1. Welcome and Announcements
2. Revisions to Actions in the Watershed Management Plan
Ø Next meeting: Tuesday, October 14
Jack Miller (Middlesex); Robert Hudgins, Anne Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester); Mary Ann Krenzke (Friends of Dragon Run); Pat Tyrrell (Tidewater RC & D); Willy Reay (CBNERR/VIMS); David Fuss (MPPDC)
Welcome and Announcements
King and Queen County Dragon Run Steering Committee member Keith Haden’s father passed away. Earl Ball, former Chairman of the King and Queen Board of Supervisors, passed away. Jack Miller will attend a Secretary of Natural Resources panel meeting as a representative of the Virginia Association of Counties Agriculture Committee. The generation of funds for natural resources initiatives will be discussed (e.g. tipping fees, gas tax, utility fees).
Revisions to Actions in the Watershed Management Plan
David Fuss asked the group to look over the proposed Actions in the draft watershed management plan and provide comments. Questions and comments are as follows:
· What types of nature-based tourism are considered?
· What type of access will there be on conservation lands (e.g. TNC)?
· Phased strategy is a good one – testing uncharted waters
· Proactive planning before development is important
· Concern about development potential near Saluda and Glenns
· Discussion of taxes generated vs. long-term tax rate
· One benefit is learning what other counties are doing in their comprehensive plans
· How can farming be made profitable without a huge land base? Niche market farming – nurseries, vegetables, fruit
· Hobby farms, horse subdivisions
· Renting farm land, leasing hunting lands – are lease rates rising?
· Don’t open the Dragon to the general public for recreation
· Development pressure is here – million dollar homes in Middlesex
· Discussion of farm viability – what will the county look like when the last big farmers leave? The rural landscape is changing
· It is an insult to not be able to use your land traditionally (e.g. hunting) because new neighbors complain
· Need some policies with “teeth” in them (e.g. buffers)
· Counties should enforce Bay Act buffers, but they can’t afford to enforce all state mandates
· Written regulations look good, but they don’t always work in practice
· Frustration with state agencies not being effective or working at odds with one another
· Inconsistencies between comp plan and zoning ordinance – frustration that comp plan is held up as a legal document
· Concern about landowners who don’t want regulation on land use vs. landowners who don’t want changes in watershed
· American Farmland Trust – study for Dragon Run or Middle Peninsula?
· Virginia Beach study – indicated that residents would rather pay higher taxes to save agricultural land
· Conservation easements for traditional uses are the only real way to preserve land in traditional uses
· Purchase of Development Rights program is better earlier than later because it is cheaper that way
In general, the group agreed that the phased implementation strategy was acceptable.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held at the MPPDC offices on Tuesday, October 14, 2003.