Virginia CZM Program: 2016 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

52

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Middle Peninsula Coastal Eco-Business Public & Private Operational Framework

Project Description:

The Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (PAA) in partnership with the MPPDC looks to create an economic competitive advantage by leveraging underutilized, publicly owned PAA waterfront land for recreational use across the Middle Peninsula.  The PAA owns over 40 separate waterfront parcels across 5 counties and one town totaling more than 1000 acres of underutilized waterfront land. The PAA desires to explore new approaches to allow privately owned eco business ventures to operate on publicly owned land to encourage new and innovative, environmental sensitive ecotourism developments that both showcase and preserve the PAA’s unique natural landscapes and wildlife.   The PAA desires to allow suitably experienced individuals or organizations to submit Expression of Eco-Business Interests Concepts  (EoEBIC). However, before the PAA can accept any Expression of Interest, several policy documents must be created. Under this proposal, the following policy documents will be proposed:
• Guidelines for Eco Business Expression of Interest Concepts
• Eco Business Application Form
• Eco Business Procurement Guidelines
• Eco Business Best Practices Development Guidelines
• Eco Business Facilities and Implementation Framework

As part of the commitment to encourage the expansion of eco-businesses across the Middle Peninsula, the PAA also proposes to improve water access infrastructure on publically owned waterfront land by planning, designing and constructing up to two new nature viewing platforms on the 250 acre Clay Tract, located in King and Queen County, on the Dragon Run.  These platforms are intended to enhance the limited public infrastructure available for use by both the general public and eco businesses interested in operating on land owned by the PAA.  Improvements in the form of nature viewing platform(s) will be planned, designed, bid for construction and built utilizing non-federal funds as match for the project.

Federal Funding:

$40,000

Project Contact:

Jackie Rickards, 804.758.2311, jrickards@mppdc.com

Project Status:

10/1/16 - 9/30/17; Project Completed

Final Product:

Middle Peninsula Coastal Eco-Business Public and Private Operational Framework (PDF)

Project Summary:

The Middle Peninsula Chesapeake Bay Public Access Authority (PAA), in partnership with the MPPDC, worked to create an economic competitive advantage by leveraging underutilized publicly owned MPCBPAA waterfront land for recreational use across the Middle Peninsula through the development of a Middle Peninsula Eco- Business Program. Through this Program, PAA will allow privately owned eco-business ventures to operate on the PAA’s land which consists of over 50 separate waterfront parcels across five counties and one town totaling more than 1000 acres.

Through this project, MPPDC staff used documents from the Queensland Eco-tourism Investment Opportunities Program to create a series of documents for the Middle Peninsula Eco-Business Program. Documents included the following:
- Eco-Business Application: Provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to share information about their business and their project ideas. Applications will be accepted on an annual rolling basis.
- Eco-Business Tender Guidelines: Reviews the process that applicants can expect to go through, including the invitation for expression of interest and request for a detailed proposal.
- Eco-Business Probity Guidelines: Provides transparency in the program and application process.
- Eco-Business Framework: Provides an overview of the how, what, where and why of the eco-tourism program.
- Eco-Business Best Practices: Assists applicants in developing eco tourism facilities and experiences on PAA public lands that are in the public interest, ecologically sustainable, and ensure, to the greatest possible extent, the preservation of the land’s natural condition and protection of its cultural values and resources.

In anticipation of applicants from the eco-business RFP, MPPDC staff addressed questions of taxation of private businesses on PAA land. MPPDC staff corresponded with the Office of the Attorney General Assistant Attorney General who found: (1) It appears that the PAA is exempt from real estate taxes.  (Va. Code Section 15.2-6617); (2) Any person or entity leasing property owned by the PAA would not be subject to tax on the entirety of the property, but would be subject to tax on its leasehold interest in the property owned by the PAA (even though the PAA is not subject).  (Va. Code Sections 15.2-6617; 15.2-6623; 58.1-3200; and 58.1-3203); (3) Any tenant should not be responsible for a tax on an entire parcel of property unless they are leasing the entire parcel; (4) PAA will need to speak directly with each locality to determine how taxes are assessed; and (5) At this time, not aware of the mechanism through which localities would institute PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) fees.  If there is a legitimate PILOT fees program in a locality assessed against the PAA, that would be something the PAA would be responsible for, not the tenant (unless there is a contractual requirement under the lease to pass through a portion of such fee).

Finally, as part of the commitment to encourage the expansion of eco-businesses across the Middle Peninsula, the PAA contracted with  a local contractor to construct two new nature viewing platforms on the 250 acre Clay Tract, located in King & Queen County , on the Dragon Run. These platforms are for use by the general public and available to eco-businesses interested in operating on the Clay Tract.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

 

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

 

footer divider
footer divider
footer divider
Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


Some resources on this website require Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel. If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format pursuant to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)), please call 800-592-5482. In addition, this website includes hyperlinks to websites neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Links may open in a new window. If you wish to receive content from a website which is neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth, please contact the host of that website directly.

Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | WAI Compliance | Contact Us