Wetlands Zoning Board


  • 7 pm on the 1st Wednesday of every month, except in July
  • Historic Courthouse
    17 Church Street
    Mathews, VA 23109


  • Katy Jo Walden, Chair
    Mathews, VA 23109
    Email Katy Jo Walden
    Term expires: January 2028
  • Nicholas Koch
    Hudgins, VA
    Term expires: January 2028
  • Daniel Desmond
    (To fill the unexpired term of Kurkowski)
    6401 E River Road
    Foster, VA 23056
    Email Daniel Desmond
    Term expires: August 2025
  • Melody Goodwin
    Diggs, VA 23045
    Email Melody Goodwin
    Term expires: June 2027
  • Richard Marshall
    Mathews, VA
    Email Richard Marshall
    Term expires: October 2023
  • Charles F. "Chuck" Dawson, (Alternate)
    Mathews, VA 23109
    Term expires: June 2024
  • Gerald Taylor, (Alternate)
    Gwynn, VA 23066
    Term expires: June 2024


Citizens are appointed to five-year terms. 

Mathews County adopted the Wetlands Ordinance to regulate the use and development of tidal wetlands. Effective on November 9, 1982, the ordinance is a state mandate for all localities having jurisdictional tidal wetlands.  The jurisdiction of the County’s ordinance includes those areas from Mean Low Water (MLW) to Mean High Water (MHW) and any vegetated wetlands that are within one-and-a-half times the tide range.  There is a separate Sand Dunes Ordinance for that governs any development on beaches and dunes.  The Wetlands ordinance and Sand Dunes ordinance are administered by the Planning and Zoning staff and a 5-member citizen board with two alternate members that are appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve 5-year terms. 

All development within the tidal wetlands jurisdiction requires the submittal of a Joint Permit Application to be reviewed by the Wetlands Board, Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). If a permit is required, a public hearing takes place to allow citizens the chance to comment on the proposal. Board members review each application to ensure the applicant is designing their project following all applicable regulations & technical guidance. Approval of the project is done through a motion of the Board with a majority vote. 

Once approved, all permits are valid for 18 months.  The permittee can request an extension from the Board if not all work is able to be completed within the 18-month timeframe. Once projects are completed. a compliance check is done by staff to ensure the project was built within the specifications of the permit as approved by the Board. 

The Board usually meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM in the Historic Courthouse.  

The Wetlands Ordinance can be found at ecode.

  • Section 28.2-1303, of the Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, provides the framework for local Wetlands Boards.
  • Chapter 166 of the Code of Mathews provides the local framework for Wetlands Boards.