The Accomack County Board of Supervisors agreed to schedule a public hearing in order to increase the current in-lieu fee for vegetated wetlands from $12 to $18 per square foot and impose a in-lieu fee for adjacent non-vegetated wetlands in the amount of $18 per square foot. The fees are used when a waterfront project causes a loss of vegetated or non-vegetated wetlands. State law requires that approved projects be completed with no net loss of wetlands. The fee gives applicants the possibility of compensating for non-vegetated wetlands, losses, if unavoidable, and these fees will be used to create wetlands in place of those lost, achieving no net loss.
Chris Guvenator told the Board that the restoration of wetlands at the Makemie Park in northern Accomack County gave the County an idea of the actual cost. The charge will apply when all other options are exhausted on a waterfront project and will give land owners an option to allow their projects to proceed with no net loss. This is not a tax but will only represent the cost of creating wetlands when needed to offset losses due to waterfront development.