Developer seeks board’s help in subdivision request
Mathews supervisors grilled planning and zoning director John Shaw during the Dec. 20 board of supervisors meeting about his refusal to approve plans of development for several lots in a subdivision proposed by a county resident.
Jack Rouzie of Rivercreek Drive, Cobbs Creek, complained during public comment period that the wetlands designation for Rivercreek, a subdivision that he proposes to build off Godfrey Bay Road, had changed since 2004, preventing him from developing several lots as proposed under a subdivision plat that was approved and recorded by Mathews County seven years ago.
Rouzie said he has seven remaining lots to develop, but that the plans of development for four of those lots haven’t been approved because of a difference of opinion about wetlands that exists between him and his agent, Chuck Dawson, on the one hand, and Shaw and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation on the other.
Rouzie asked the board of supervisors to intervene and approve the plans of development for the four lots.
During subsequent discussion, supervisors, who appeared to be already informed about the matter, questioned Shaw about whether the county’s previous approval of the wetlands delineation had been made in error, but Shaw said no, that the previous county representative had "acted on what they thought was an appropriate interpretation" of state laws and county regulations governing wetlands delineation.
Under the Chesapeake Bay Act adopted by the county in 1991, non-tidal wetlands that are contiguous to and that drain into tidal wetlands have to have a 100-foot Resource Protection Area buffer, just as tidal wetlands do. The Rouzie plat appropriately shows the RPA buffer for tidal wetlands, said Shaw, but it doesn’t delineate the RPA buffer for the adjacent non-tidal wetlands. Shaw explained in a subsequent interview that Dawson is of the opinion that the non-tidal wetlands on the property do not drain into the tidal wetlands, and therefore didn’t need to have a 100-foot buffer. Shaw and DCR disagree.