Construction Halted

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By Linda Cicoira — Construction in Captain’s Cove, in Greenbackville, was stopped earlier this month and pilings were ordered to be removed because they were erected without a permit.

The unauthorized work was being done in the tidal zone, said Chris Guvernator, Accomack’s director of environmental programs. It was along an “unimproved street off of Castaway Drive” called C-View Street, which runs parallel to the shoreline.

“They were driving pilings,” said Guvernator. “We assumed it was for a bulkhead. But it was done within the wetlands board jurisdiction and we could find no evidence of permits.”

A rock wall there was first installed during an approved waterfront project in 2015, so maintenance of that adjacent structure is permitted as long as it stays in the footprint of the original structure. Guvernator said it didn’t so that will have to be fixed too.

The wetland’s board was formally notified of the issues at its session last week. Guvernator said Wednesday that his office is waiting for the contractor’s schedule for removing the pilings.

“These rocks are sitting in the bay,” said John Ward, a resident of the development. He complained that the association is “being forced to break the law … There is a rule that they can only be six feet wide. They are 15 feet.”

Maintenance money comes from the general fund of the Captain’s Cove homeowners association. It comes from another pot if the work is first-time construction.

Lots are being sold for $75,000 that were assessed at $600, Ward continued. “If a storm comes up, the people are going to be trapped in their homes. It’s going to flood. We’re going to pay for it.”

Ward also complained that the developer appears to get away with putting in sand fill. But when an individual landowner does that, “he has gotten into trouble.”

In another debated issue, the wetland’s board approved a permit to allow Norman and Susan Colpitts to erect oyster castle stacks along Craddock Creek in an effort to stop erosion.

Walter Frisch, who owns land that borders the Colpitts’ property, objected to the project. He contended it could have a “potentially negative environmental impact.”

Frisch was not convinced the 160,000 pounds of fill that would be put between the castles and the land would not wash out into the creek keeping him from maneuvering his 19-foot boat.

Ellen Grimes, a shoreline manager, said mats would be used and the fill would not be overflowing.

“My feelings are this is a project of merit to stop the erosion on that portion of marsh,” said Chairman Earl Frederick. He said the Colpitts would also be using that gut to get into the creek.

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