...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders
In accordance with notice to members of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council’s Planning and Procedures subcommittee, a meeting of the subcommittee was held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 8:30am at the offices of the CRMC, Stedman Government Center, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI.
Anne Livingston, Chair
Paul E. Lemont, Vice Chair
Angelo Liberti, DEM representative
Grover Fugate, Executive Director
James Boyd, Coastal Policy Analyst
Brian Goldman, Legal Counsel
Tom Kutcher, Save The Bay
Call to Order. Ms. Livingston called the meeting to order at 8:40 a.m.
Ms. Livingston called for a motion to approve the minutes of the April 21, 2015 subcommittee meeting.
Mr. Gomez, seconded by Mr. Lemont, moved to approve the meeting minutes of April 21, 2015. All voted in favor of the motion.
Item 5A – CRMC File # 2015-04-103 – Save The Bay Petition for Adoption of Rules, Amendments to the Coastal Resources Management Program (CRMP) – Section 300.7 Construction of Shoreline Protection Structures
G. Fugate described the proposed petition by Save The Bay to modify CRMP Section 300.7 that is intended to provide more of a burden of proof from applicants to demonstrate the necessity of hardened structural shoreline protection facilities and to have an engineer certify that all other alternatives, including non-structural shoreline protection, have been carefully evaluated. Mr. Fugate also explained that CRMC staff have been and are presently working on draft revisions to Section 300.7 and are incorporating the research that is being conducted as part of the Beach SAMP efforts, specifically the StormTools information and data on surge elevations and wave heights along segments of the shoreline.
Chair Livingston asked Mr. Kutcher if he would like to comment on the petition and add any additional details. Mr. Kutcher explained the purpose of Save the Bay’s petition and indicated that it came about as a result of the Council’s approval for a seawall in Jamestown that was designed to protect an existing roadway and sewer line. Subcommittee members briefly discussed the seawall project and whether other alternatives would have been effective and feasible.
Mr. Fugate stated that staff does not necessarily disagree with the purpose of the petition and in fact, may incorporate some elements into the working draft of Section 300.7. He further indicated that he was concerned about the timing of the petition in relation to the ongoing CRMC work on Section 300.7. Mr. Fugate further explained that a CRMC guidance manual is being planned for non-structural (soft) and hybrid methods of shoreline protection to provide preferred methods, including the planting of vegetation, rather than hardened structures. Amendments to Section 300.7 would be phased in over time to incorporate desirable changes to make it easier for applicants to install non-structural (soft) and hybrid methods of shoreline protection and require applicants to clearly demonstrate that these methods are not feasible for a site before moving towards hardened structures, where permissible.
Mr. Goldman advised the Subcommittee that they had two options; either approve the petition moving forward with rule-making or defer action on the petition to allow for CRMC staff to continue work on Section 300.7. He also suggested that if the Subcommittee elects to defer action that they should impose a time period for CRMC staff to report back to the Council.
Mr. Lemont, seconded by Mr. Gomez, moved to defer action on the petition for a period of six (6) months to allow continued drafting by staff of changes to Section 300.7, and to include a staff report to the Council on the matter within six (6) months. All voted in favor of the motion.
ADJOURNMENT. Mr. Lemont, seconded by Mr. Gomez, moved to adjourn the subcommittee meeting. All voted in favor of the motion and the meeting was adjourned at 9:12 a.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Jeffrey M Willis, Deputy Director