The Mathews Land Conservancy’s Williams Wharf project hit another snag last week when the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, meeting on May 28 in Newport News, remanded the case to the Mathews County Wetlands Board because of a procedural error.
According to recorded testimony by Mike Johnson of VMRC, the wetlands board may not have gotten all the information it needed to make its decision to approve the project because board chairman Ken Kurkowski didn’t allow people who had spoken on the merits of the application in January to speak again at the May meeting.
Johnson said he had received an appeal signed by 26 freeholders who had several items of concern about the project that they wanted to address. However, the commission decided to restrict comments only to the issue of whether there was a procedural error that would require remanding the application for a new public hearing.
Johnson told the commission that a modification had been made between the first and second public hearings, and the commission’s attorney said he had advised Johnson that people’s right to due process had been denied. He said that a modified application is a new application, requiring a new hearing, not a continuation of a previous hearing.