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Mathews board approves boat yard rezoning

The Mathews County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday night to rezone the county-owned East River Boat Yard from residential to business.

The rezoning was prompted by a proposal submitted to the board in December by Billy Hooper of the Williams Wharf Oyster Company that the company be allowed to lease the boat yard for seven years for use as an oyster hatchery and for the offloading and shipment of aquaculture product.

Subsequent to that proposal, the board issued a request for proposals from other businesses interested in leasing the site for aquaculture purposes. The county received such a proposal from Warren Callis Jr.

Although the board had 100 days before it needed to make a decision, supervisor Edwina Casey said there had been plenty of time to decide, since the proposal had been on the table since January. That was when the board submitted the request for a recommendation on the rezoning to the planning commission.

During discussion, new board member Mike Rowe and chairm...

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