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Dragon Run Steering Committee 2006 Meeting Minutes

See meeting minutes from: 2009 |2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999| 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | Member Attendance

Dragon Run Steering Committee
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
November 8, 2006 7:00pm
Saluda, Virginia


1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Dragon Run DVD viewing
3. Dragon Run Day planning updates
4. Review of final NGO/Public land acquisition report
5. Biodiesel pilot program
6. Other Business
7. Adjourn


Steering Committee: Willy Reay (Gloucester County), Jack Miller (Middlesex County), Frank Herrin (King and Queen County), Robert Gibson (King and Queen County) and Eric Weisel (Gloucester County)

Others: Sara Stamp and Russell and Rachel Williams

Welcome and Introductions

Vice Chair Frank Herrin called the meeting to order and began introductions.

Dragon Run DVD Viewing

The Dragon Run Steering Committee viewed the final version of the Dragon Run DVD, Dragon Run: A Step into the Past, A Strategy for the Future. Ms. Stamp noted that the release for the Dragon Run DVD will be coming up in January and that there is a potential to partner with the Middle Peninsula Garden Club to host a forum at the event as well. Additionally, Ms. Stamp noted that the DVD will be on the Planning District Commission's agenda for the December meeting.

The list of invitees to the viewing should at least include interviewees, funders, MPLT, FODR, DRLA, and RC&D. If it a dual event with the MP Garden Club, then the general public should be invited as well.

Ms. Stamp distributed the DVD and reiterated that the target audience for the DVD is people in the watershed, including local governments, and other watershed groups interested in doing similar work. Mr. Herrin and other members of the Steering Committee recommended that the schools be given a copy and also the county libraries. Perhaps even a viewing at some of the libraries would be a good idea.

Additionally, for the long-term, the SWCDs, DoF, DCR, VA Farm Bureau, and RC&D should also receive copies.

Dragon Run Day Update

Ms. Stamp distributed copies of the meeting notes from the October Dragon Run Day Subcommittee meeting.

Review of Final NGO/Public Land Acquisition Report

Ms. Stamp reviewed the final draft of the report and requested edits. The Steering Committee requested a review period, but decided to approve the report pending the incorporation of feedback by the end of the following week. Mr. Herrin made a motion to accept the report with aforementioned stipulations; Mr. Miller seconded; motion carried.

Biodiesel Pilot Program

The Steering Committee discussed a strategy for initiating the biodiesel feasibility study/pilot program. The Steering Committee discussed the timing of the project, the upcoming Request for Qualifications that is being issued by the MPPDC and the specifics of how the project should unfold. Mr. Weisel provided input on the feasibility study process and agreed to potentially provide input on the review of proposals.

Other Business

Mr. Gibson reported that Cobalt has been founding test wells near the old landfill on Route 603 over the last year. He expressed concerns over the health and environmental impacts of this finding. Dr. Reay volunteered to check on the drinking standards with regard to Cobalt and report back at the next meeting.


The next meeting is scheduled for February 7th, 2007.

Dragon Run Steering Committee
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
August 2, 2006 6:00pm
Stormont, Virginia


1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Dinner
3. Discussion
4. Adjourn

Dragon Run Steering Committee
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
May 10, 2006 7:30pm
Saluda, Virginia


1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Legislative Review
3. Draft recommendations for management of public and nongovernmental organization holdings acquired for conservation
4. Dragon Run Day planning updates
5. Land-use planning consultant and economic development consultant review process
6. Dragon Run DVD development
7. Summer Quarterly meeting
8. Other Business
9. Adjourn


Steering Committee: Prue Davis (Essex), Dorothy Miller (Essex); Rick Allen (Gloucester); Frank Herrin (King and Queen); R.D. Johnson (Middlesex), Eric Weisel (Gloucester), Robert Gibson (King and Queen), and Robert Hudgins (Gloucester)

Others: Anne and Dan Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester); Sara Stamp (MPPDC)

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Prue Davis called the meeting to order and began introductions.

Legislative Review

Ms. Stamp reviewed some potentially relevant legislative updates, highlighting the following:

Signed Into Law:

HB 78 Zoning ordinance; reconstruction/restoration of involuntarily damaged or destroyed nonconformities. Permits property owners to reconstruct or restore involuntarily damaged or destroyed nonconforming real property to its original, nonconforming condition. Passed House with Amendment; Passed Senate with Amendments; House Agreed to Senate Amendments; Signed by Governor.

HB 93 Environmental site assessments; local government to adopt ordinances requiring. Clarifies the authority of local governing bodies to adopt ordinances to require site assessments and to record notice as a part of a rezoning or subdivision approval process. The bill also clarifies that the residential property disclosure statement provided by the owner of residential real property to a purchaser includes disclosure of adverse environmental site conditions. Approved by House, Passed Senate with Substitute; House agreed to Senate changes; Signed by Governor.

HB 132 Eminent domain; jury to determine just compensation. Removes the option of the landowner to choose commissioners to hear an eminent domain case. Allows only jurors or the court to hear such a matter and requires all jurors in an eminent domain proceeding to be freeholders in the jurisdiction of the land in question. Passed House with Substitute; Passed Senate; Signed by Governor.

HB 552 Regional water supply plans. Allows a town to enter into a regional water supply plan with an adjacent county. Passed House; Passed Senate; Signed by Governor .

HB 684 Erosion & Sediment Control & Stormwater Management Acts; clarifies. Provides definitions of terms in the Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Acts that clarify what are acceptable flow rates from storm runoff at sites where land development projects are occurring. Passed House; Passed Senate with Amendments; House Adopted Senate Amendments; Signed by Governor.

HB 1150 Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Authority and the Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Fund. stablishes the Virginia Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Authority to develop, through the Department of Environmental Quality, the Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Strategic Plan (Plan) and to oversee the execution of the Plan by the Department, including the approval of any major alterations or modifications. The bill also creates the Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Fund to be administered by the Virginia Resources Authority and used to fund the Plan. The bill has a sunset of 2017. Reported from Committee with Substitute; Passed House; Passed Senate with Amendments; House Agreed to Senate Amendments.

HB 1435 Zoning; agricultural districts; farm wineries. Provides that production agriculture shall include the activities of a farm winery licensed in accordance with alcoholic beverage control law, including the making of wine and the conduct of activities having the purpose of promoting the sale of Virginia wines, including without limitation wine tastings, wine tasting lunches and dinners, musical presentations at which wine is marketed, and similar agritourism activities whether conducted in the vineyards or on the grounds of the farm winery, which activities are designed to increase agricultural sales at the farm winery and increase tourism in the Commonwealth. The bill provides that farm wineries are required to comply with any applicable local noise ordinance or setback requirements. Passed House With Substitute; Passed Senate with Substitute; House Agreed to Senate Substitute; Signed by Governor.

SB 224 Environmental site assessments; localities to adopt ordinances requiring. Allows localities to include in their subdivision or zoning ordinances provisions for requiring environmental site assessments prior to approval of subdivision and development plans or land use, rezoning, subdivision, or development applications. A reasonable fee may be charged for the review of such environmental assessments. Such ordinances may also include provisions for requiring remediation and disclosure of adverse environmental conditions of the property prior to approval of subdivision and development plans, or land use, rezoning, subdivision, or development applications. Passed Senate With Substitute; Passed House; Signed by Governor.

SB 373 Development rights; localities provide for transfer thereof from parcel located in another locality. Allows localities to provide for the transfer of development rights from a parcel of property located in the locality to another parcel of property located elsewhere in the locality. Passed Senate; Passed House with Substitute; Senate Agreed to House Substitute; Signed by Governor

SB 634 Subaqueous permits. Exempts L or T head construction platforms or protrusions of 250 square feet or less that extend over state-owned, subaqueous lands from having to obtain a permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission so long as the platform or protrusion serves a water-dependent use such as the docking of vessels. Passed Senate; Passed House with Amendments; Senate Agreed to House Amendments; Signed by Governor.

Passed Resolutions - Studies, First Readings of Constitutional Amendments, etc.:

HJ 133 Development rights; joint subcom. to study funding sources for purchase thereof to preserve land. Establishes a joint subcommittee to study long-term funding sources for the purchase of development rights to preserve open-space land. Passed House; Passed Senate with Substitute; House Agreed to Senate Substitute.

SJ 94 Farmlands; joint subcommittee to study financing & programmatic options for preserving. Establishes a six-member joint subcommittee to study the financing and programmatic options for preserving Virginia's farmlands. Passed Senate with Amendments; Passed House with Substitute; Senate Agreed to House Substitute.

Draft Recommendations for Management of Public and NGO holding acquired for Conservation

Ms. Stamp reviewed the draft report on recommendations for management of public and NGO holding acquired for conservation in the Dragon Run Watershed. The goal of this report is to provide NGO and public entities of Steering Committee expectations land management. The report focuses on the need for a management plan/strategy and the elements to be contained therein. Items to be addressed include aquatic and wildlife habitat protection, water quality protection, appropriate multi-use/recreation planning, maintenance of traditional uses, establishment of conservation easements, participation with regional conservation area coordination efforts, threat mitigation (including invasive species control) and identification of funding resources

Dragon Run Day Planning Overview

Ms. Stamp provided an update on Dragon Run Day Subcommittee planning efforts. The committee decided on October 20th, 2007 as the date and the location as RCC Glenns Campus. The committee has begun to put together a list of potential sponsors to contact as well as a list of calendars to get the event on, including the various counties. The subcommittee has also begun a list of potential activities to include in the day. The subcommittee will meet quarterly until the end of 2006 and monthly in 2007.

Land-use Planning Consultant and Economic Development Consultant

Ms. Stamp reviewed the status of the request for qualifications for the consultant work to continue the efforts for land-use planning and economic development. She reported that Paradigm Design's contract had been terminated and that the MPPDC was looking for a new contractor.

Dragon Run DVD

Ms. Stamp reported that due to the loss of Paradigm Design, the scope of work for the project had been shifted and that funds were going to be used to develop a DVD to provide an overview of the planning initiative and highlight efforts underway.

Summer Quarterly Meeting

The Steering Committee discussed the format for the upcoming summer meeting and decided to do a more informal gathering with a brief meeting after dinner. The meeting will be at the Majors' in August about 5:30 or 6

Other Business

A member of the Steering Committee suggested communicating with a group in the Great Dismal Swamp area that was in the paper in the March-April

It was recommended that we get a speaker from the corn growers/soybean association or Ellen Davis to come speak.

Ms. Stamp informed the group that an educational opportunity on land-use, LID and water quality is coming up and to see her for information.


Dorothy Miller called for adjournment of the meeting.

Dragon Run Steering Committee
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission
Steering Committee Meeting Minutes (draft)
February 15, 2006
Saluda, Virginia


1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Recommendation on economic development study
3. Proposed scope of work for coming years
4. Potential for third Dragon Run Day Event
5. Setting Committee Priorities
-Coordinating Land Use Policies
6. Legislative Review
7. Other Business
8. Adjourn


Steering Committee:Prue Davis (Essex), Dorothy Miller (Essex); Scott Owen (Essex); Rick Allen (Gloucester); Robert Hudgins (Gloucester); Willy Reay (Gloucester); Frank Herrin (King and Queen); R.D. Johnson, Jack Miller (Middlesex), Fred Hutson (Essex);

Others: Anne and Dan Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester); Sara Stamp (MPPDC)

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Prue Davis called the meeting to order and began introductions. Sara Stamp displayed an award from the Dragon Run Steering Committee to David Fuss for his service as the Director of the Dragon Run Steering Committee.

Recommendation on the Yellow Wood Economic Development Study

After reviewing the purpose of the Yellow Wood report, the Steering Committee discussed the feasibility of each of the recommendations. Sara will coordinate with Prue to prepare a feedback report for the Commission to encourage them to acknowledge the Committee's recommendation referrals and work plan associated with implementing these recommendations. Each the following critical evaluations of the recommendations is based on Committee discussion:

Enterprise Papers

Topic 1: White Oak Stave Use for Wine Barrel Production

Although it acknowledges that sustainable harvesting of hardwoods is a valuable practice, the Committee felt that this venture was more destructive to the Dragon's ecosystem, and therefore in conflict with the goals of the Committee at this current point in time than they would prefer. The Committee discussed the current status of hardwood farming and the problems with it being a practice that is difficult to make sustainable and therefore perhaps detrimental to long term economic viability in the Dragon. The Committee does, however, want to remain open to educational opportunities regarding this potential recommendation in case opportunities present themselves in the future.

Topic 2: Showcase for Local Foods and Crafts with Education Exhibits and Sales Opportunities

With the limited number of craftspeople indigenous to the Dragon Run Watershed, the Committee believes that it would be difficult to attain the threshold identified by the report. Therefore, the Committee has decided to forego further efforts on this recommendation in lieu of pursuing more feasible/implementable ones.

Topic 3: Biodiesel Utilization and Production for Municipal Vehicles

The Committee showed a significantly positive response to the recommendation for a pilot locality to pilot a partnership program that would use biodiesel from a partnership between local soybean growers and the regional biodiesel company. Members of the committee had questions regarding the technology such as how long the fuel takes to gel, how much fuel does an acre of soybeans yield, etc. It was recommended that Sara consult Ellen Davis about a presentation she has on the technology. The Committee noted that there currently seems to be a local appetite for a move to biodiesel, both at the public and private levels. Many local farmers have shown interest in utilizing this technology. Essex County was promoted as a location that may be at a point where they are willing to pilot a program exploring this recommendation. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the Committee that future work include a plan to implement this pilot program at the local government level, particularly in Essex, and ultimately produce an educational report that highlights program successes but that can also be transferred to private industry.

Topic 4: Municipal Recycling Center for Organic Materials

One of the biggest problems the Committee identified with this recommendations is that it seems to be difficult to get people to recycle and that there may not be a strong enough market to justify the costs associated with start-up. While it was discussed that there is some experience in the area utilizing sludge and timber chips to produce sellable mulch, a feasibility study would be required to see whether the price of the technology is cost prohibitive. The Committee does, however, want to remain open to educational opportunities regarding this potential recommendation in case opportunities present themselves in the future.

Learning Papers

Topic 5: Organic Produce Production and Community Supported Agriculture

The Committee noted several pros and cons with this recommendation. It saw more potential in exploring the "organic" market than Community Supported Agriculture. It recognized that there is a stronger market for the organic and niche farming industries in the metropolitan areas than in the local rural areas, creating additional costs through transportation. The Committee recognized that there are networks in place in these metropolitan areas that our local farmers would have to tap into. Also, the issue of receiving the proper certification and the requirements associated with it were discussed. Regardless, this recommendation seems to be a mid-level priority for the Committee.

Topic 6: Estate Planning, Conservation Tools and Community Foundations

The Committee identified this topic as the most important idea to pursue in the long-run. Due to the flexibility of the recommendation, the Committee believes that with the proper educational tools, this would be relatively easy to implement. It did, however, note that enrollment in estate planning, conservation tools and the like has experienced limited success in the past. It recognized that there are currently several organizations in the area operating in the conservation easement field and that there is a potential for implementing a communication network between this current operators and potential groups. The Committee identified potential groups as: local hunt clubs, Ducks Unlimited, Wild Turkey Foundation, Quail Unlimited, and the Virginia Deer Hunter Association.

Topic 7: Controlling Public Access

This topic was discussed in detail under the agenda item #5, "Setting Committee Priorities" - "Coordinating Land Use Policy" and "Access".

The Committee prioritized the topics as follows:

High Priority (Committee would like to see implementation of these recommendations):

Estate planning program

Mid Level Priority (Committee does not have current plan for implementation, but would be interested in actively supporting these activities):

Organic produce/niche market

Committee believes these activities have potential to be pursued in future and would like to maintain awareness of status and participate in educational opportunities involving these topics:

Organic waste recycling
White oak staves for wine barrels

Low Priority (Committee feels that there is not a threshold capacity to make this a viable activity):

Local crafts network

The Steering Committee would like for the Planning District Commission to endorse the preceding prioritization stemming from the economic study.

Proposed Scope of Work for Coming Years

The Committee reviewed and discussed the 309 Implementation Strategy drafted and submitted by Dave Fuss and Sara Stamp to the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program. The Implementation Strategy changes the focus from funding development ideas to funding implementation ideas. The following tasks were identified for implementation:

1a. Provide technical assistance for adopting Comprehensive Plan and zoning amendments

1b. Implement adopted Comprehensive Plan and zoning changes after they have been approved by the locality

2a. Pilot feasibility study and adoption plan in Essex County for biodiesel use in county bus fleet and provide implementation assistance

2b. Implement economic partnerships stemming from sustainable economic development study

3. Develop 2-4 management plans for public and/or nongovernmental organization holding acquired for conservation

4. Produce signs at current public access sits to warn users about public safety and trespassing threats; develop detailed brochures and identification markers for public take-out points (It was clarified here that this task is not aimed at creating public access sites, but rather working with those in existence and any others that come online.)

Setting Committee Priorities: Coordinating Land Use Policies and Access

The discussion on the fourth Implementation Strategy task initiated the discussion on public access, moving it up in the agenda. The Committee recognized that efforts could be taken to better communicate and work with users to properly use public access sites and avoid trespass on private lands. The Committee identified the following concerns with public access:

1. Abuse of private lands - trash

2. Abuse of public lands - trash and the necessity for someone to manage these lands and use of these lands

3. Public access points may create draw for development pressures

4. Counties may not have manpower to support trespassing claims of landowners

5. Use conflicts - between private land owners and people on the Dragon; between various public land/water users

6. More people=more problems

The Committee would like more information on the following items:

1. Use estimates of the lands and waters of the Dragon

2. Locations of true public access points

3. Definition of the private property line against public waters

The Committee would like:

1. To enable a landowner feedback communication network to track abuse

2. Education opportunities for land owners to discuss public and private land facts, as well as how private land owners can deter or encourage various degrees of public use of private lands

Potential for Third Dragon Run Day Event

The Steering Committee would still like to host an event to celebrate the heritage and watershed of the Dragon Run. With the understanding that the Steering Committee would need to generate the sponsorship for the event (rather than from Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program grant funds), the Committee decided that it would prefer to host an event every other year, with the next one occurring in October, 2007. The Committee will coordinate with other Jamestown events happening in the region. The Committee discussed an event that would be cross educational and social event. Chair Davis will select the sub-committee members and it will begin to meet monthly beginning as soon as possible. The Committee also noted that they would like to coordinate with the Friends of Dragon Run for this event.

Other Business

A member of the Steering Committee inquired as to whether there had been any feedback from the Dragon Run Landowners Association in Middlesex. Ms. Stamp replied that no further communications had been received.


Chair Davis called for adjournment of the meeting.

See meeting minutes from: 2009 |2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999| 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | Top
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