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VMRC grants oyster lease in Mathews

Despite opposition of a number of nearby property owners, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission Tuesday granted the application of Christopher N. Pritchard to lease up to 30 acres of oyster planting grounds within Horn Harbor in Mathews County.

VMRC staff said it has received five riparian rights applications from nearby property owners during the past several days, which may lower the total area of oyster planting grounds that Pritchard can lease.

After the oyster grounds were surveyed in the field, VMRC received a number of protests from property owners in that area, a commission report said. Staff then coordinated with the private surveyor and the applicant to revisit the site and adjust the field survey in an attempt to address the issues raised.

“Their concerns include the close proximity of the surveyed area to highland properties and piers and possible adverse impacts to navigation,” the staff report said. Of the 10 initially in opposition, only two responded i...

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