Wednesday, June 27, 2007

When a $100,000 fine may not be enough

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission issued a $100,000 civil charge against a developer "who mowed dozens of acres of marshland to improve a subdivision's water views." Here's an aerial photo of the marshland showing the extensive damage. According to the article, the developer had "mowed dozens of acres, compacting the soft, muddy wetland bottom with the Marsh Buggy's 6-foot-tall, tank-like treads. The ruts are still visible at the site. One VMRC board member suggested the land might not recover for 10 years." In this previous article, VMRC "analysis showed 142,054 feet of tread tracks criss-crossing the land." That article states that the "1,500-acre development is being carved up into only 155 lots. Originally the company planned to sell lots for $250,000 to $1 million." If true, the civil charge, although substantial, can probably be recovered through a slight increase in lot prices as a result of the improved water views.