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Urbanna wants fewer slips at proposed marina

by Tom Chillemi

The Urbanna Town Council is asking that 47 boat slips be deleted from a proposed redevelopment of the Urbanna Yachting Center Marina on Watling Street.

On Monday, council approved sending a letter in opposition to the plan for 125 slips to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the permitting agency. The town council’s letter has requested that the permit application be modified to have a maximum of 78 slips, which is less than the 86 slips the marina currently has on Urbanna Creek.

The marina is owned by Potomac Timber Investments—the firm that has proposed building 14 condominiums on the 1.47-acre marina parcel, and has filed a $4.5 million lawsuit seeking to have recent town council zoning actions overturned.

The proposed marina development calls for the demolition of two boathouses and most of the existing piers.

The demolition is also part of Potomac Timber’s lawsuit. Urbanna claims the town boundary goes to the middle of Urbanna Creek and a Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB) permit is needed. Potomac Timber, however, contends the water is out of HARB’s jurisdiction.

The proposed piers would extend 362 feet to the south toward the channel; and between 160 and 210 feet channel-ward to the east, in accordance with a 2006 permit for 43 slips.

With the 2006 VMRC permit already in hand, Potomac Timber can have a total of 102 slips, said Chip Neikirk of VMRC. That means Potomac Timber is essentially asking for another 23 slips, he explained.
Neikirk said the marina currently has 86 slips.

The town council’s objection states, “The tee piers appear to go to the channel line, meaning any boat moored on the end of one would impede boat traffic in the creek. It (the expansion) would also appear to impede boat traffic to the two adjoining marinas and add to the overall congestion in this area of the town.”

The town council’s letter also notes, “Parking space is limited.”

Wetlands permit

Potomac Timber also has a permit pending before the Middlesex Wetlands Board and a public hearing will be held on Tuesday, August 12, at 9 a.m. at the historic courthouse in Saluda.

Potomac Timber is seeking a wetlands permit to demolish the existing boathouses; retain 8 existing slips along a seawall; retain 3 floating piers and 38 slips from a previously approved application; and add 4 new floating piers and an extension to a previously approved pier to create 79 new slips for a total of 125 slips.

The applicant plans to install 277 linear feet of vinyl bulkhead in front of the existing bulkhead.

A copy of the wetlands board application is available at the Middlesex Department of Planning and Zoning. Call 758-3382 for more information.

posted 07.25.2008

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