Wetlands Board approves Williams Wharf project for second time

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 31, 2013 - 01:22 PM

The Mathews Wetlands Board, meeting last Wednesday, again approved a wetlands permit for a rowing and sailing center at Williams Wharf in Mathews.

This was the third public hearing to be held on the project, and the board voted unanimously to allow construction of the structure, a portion of which will be built over vegetated and non-vegetated wetlands. The footprint of the two-story building is 10,918 square feet.

The part of the project consisting of piers and riprap was approved after the first public hearing, which was held in January, but the part concerning the building was tabled.

In May, the project came before the wetlands board again, and board members unanimously approved the structure. More than a dozen people spoke in favor of the project at that time, while none spoke against it.

However, later that month a group of Mathews residents appealed the decision to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which remanded it to the wetlands board because opponents who had spoken at the first hearing hadn’t been given an opportunity to speak at the second.