Dragon Run Watershed Steering Committee

Special Area Management Plan Planning Forum

December 12, 2001



- Agenda Topics -

1.      Welcome and opening remarks

Chairman Ed Hall and Vice Chairwoman Dorothy Miller

Steering Committee

2.      History of the Dragon Run Watershed Steering Committee and the Special Area Management Plan project

Lewie Lawrence


3.      Special Area Management Plan project manager

Dave Fuss



4.      Visions for the Dragon Run Watershed

Forum Participants



5.      General Discussion

Forum Participants



6.      Dragon Run GIS Management Framework

Daniel Powell

Anderson & Associates

7.      Next Meeting – January 9th, 2nd Wednesdays of each month

Chairman Ed Hall

Steering Committee



Welcome and Introductions

Chairman Edward Hall welcomed everyone to the Dragon Run Steering Committee’s Watershed Stakeholder Planning Forum on December 12, 2001, at the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission offices in Saluda, Virginia. Vice-Chairwoman Dorothy Miller assumed the role of chairing the meeting, briefly explained the steering committee’s role, and asked participants to introduce themselves. Other committee members in attendance were: William F. Herrin, Robert Major, Dorothy Miller, Jack Miller, and Jerry Horner.  Stakeholders in attendance were: Dick Brake, David Birdsall, Andy Lacatell, Davis Rhodes, Mike Anderberg, William Reay, Anne Newsom, William Saunders, Kay Bradley, Daniel Powell, Anne Ducey-Ortiz, Lewis Lawrence, and David Fuss.

History of the Steering Committee and the Special Area Management Plan project

Vice-Chairman Miller asked Lewis Lawrence, Director of Regional Planning MPPDC, to describe the history of the Dragon Run Steering Committee and how their leadership led to the current 5-year grant to undertake a Special Area Management Plan through NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Act Section 309 Enhancement Grant program. Lewis explained that Special Area Management Planning is intended to protect significant coastal resources when there is a strong commitment at all levels of government to enter into a collaborative planning process to produce enforceable policies.

Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) project manager

Lewis introduced Dave Fuss, the Dragon Run SAMP project manager. Dave described his professional and educational background and indicated that his experience in Tidewater, Virginia and on the Dragon Run led to his excitement about this job.

Visions for the Dragon Run

Dave asked each forum attendee to share their vision of the Dragon Run in 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 years. After this exercise, there was general discussion on a variety of issues relating to the watershed. One common theme was a desire to balance what all stakeholders need and want. Issues arising during this exercise are summarized below.

Dragon Run GIS Management Framework

Lewis introduced Daniel Powell of Anderson and Associates who gave a short presentation summarizing the GIS Management Framework that the firm completed for the MPPDC. Daniel showed images illustrating the many GIS data sets that have been compiled on the CD-ROM. He also demonstrated the Framework’s utility as a management and analysis tool with an example of a buildout analysis allowable under the counties’ existing zoning ordinances.



The Steering Committee and forum participants agreed to meet again on January 9th, 2002 at 7:30 PM at the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission offices. Chairman Hall motioned to adjourn the meeting. William Herrin seconded the motion and the motion carried.



Summary of Issues for Visions of the Dragon Run Watershed


Wildlife Management


·         Traditional uses – hunting and fishing

·         Family heritage (some date back to the 1600’s) is motivation to protect pristine Dragon for future generations by limiting intensity of development

·         Protection of species/communities by preservation – maintain Dragon’s natural condition

·         Water quality deterioration

·         Anadromous fish disappearance




·         Apply current tools watershed-wide (political courage), such as zoning ordinances (e.g. Middlesex County Dragon Run Conservation [DRC] and Resource Husbandry [RH] Zoning District Overlays) and BMP’s, to avoid deterioration of natural condition - fears about parcel fragmentation under existing zoning ordinances

·         Sustainable communities – economic value of land and natural resources vs. reasonable use/protection (fear “loving the Dragon to death”)

·         Cumulative impacts of development/ changing land use practices

·         Property/landowner rights

·         Land use changes will affect tax revenues and public services delivery

·         Bay Act buffer – protects large areas (good or bad?), but does have some holes

·         Sewage disposal – septic, sewage treatment facilities, innovative technology (created wetlands for waste treatment)

·         Future expansion of Hampton Roads Sanitation Department sewage lines – implications for development/land use changes

·         Conservation easements – often geared exclusively for conservation; need to consider a range of possible easement terms




·         Need more public access, yet don’t want to “love it to death”

·         Recreation – paddling

·         Fear that publicity will result in overuse (e.g. State Park in the Dragon would cause too much visitation – preference for wildlife management area/state forest with low intensity recreation

·         Focused education programs – curriculum/service learning


Forestry and Farming


·         Concern that economic forces/inheritance tax pressure will fragment large parcels by converting working forests and farms to suburban development

·         Open space preservation

·         Need good land stewardship which includes upland areas – past focus was on stream itself




·         State support for SAMP project

·         Research, education, and monitoring – value of baseline information for monitoring change in the Dragon watershed

·         GIS (geographic information system) is a tool to address many forum issues

·         Information needs – aerial photography, satellite imagery, estimates of development pressure, carrying capacity of existing water supplies (e.g. wells, public)

·         Could use Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to help with identifying key issues/strategies to address issues