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Planners support proposed changes to aquaculture regulations

The Mathews County Planning Commission expressed support Tuesday night for zoning amendments to define and set guidelines for aquaculture operations in the county.

After a joint public hearing with the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, commission members voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed changes to Section 2.2 of the zoning ordinance. No one spoke during the public comment period.

Supervisors are expected to consider the recommendation at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

During discussion of the issue, Planning and Zoning Director John Shaw explained that the proposed regulatory changes were an outgrowth of several years’ worth of efforts, both locally and regionally, to promote aquaculture while at the same time protecting private property rights and minimizing the effects of aquaculture operations on adjacent property owners.

Shaw said that the current definition of aquaculture in the zoning ordinance refers only to “fish farming” on land and doesn&rsquo...

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