Blind licenses in Virginia Beach became an issue for several reasons. A good many, if not the majority, of the blinds on Back Bay are offshore blinds not associated with the closest landowner. Although not the terminology used in that part of the world they are non-riparian blinds. "Ownership" of these blinds in some cases goes back generations. They were administered by the clerk of courts. The system was actually closer to what occurs in Currituck NC than in the rest of eastern VA.
The first issue that arose is that blinds were often bought, sold, willed etc. as if they were real estate when in fact they were located on public bottom. Although Virginia Law states you can't transfer a hunting license the bigger set of gripes was that people were essentially claiming these public spots as there own, effectively in perpetuity. The situation was aggravated because a substantial number of blinds for which licenses were sold were never (or at least not in modern memory) erected. People were holding on to the spots waiting for a return of the great duck numbers of the past. This aspect of the problem exists primarily because of a VDGIF regulation that limits the number of blind licenses that can be sold on Back Bay, effectively making public bottom/water blind sites a commodity.
The second issue occurred when the general assembly passed a bill better separating the licensing periods for riparian and non riparian landowners. This allowed the VDGIF to offer licenses on-line. Many viewed this as a tremendous convenience but it took control of Back Bay blind administration from the Virginia Beach clerk of courts. Back Bay then became like the rest of eastern VA (minus the eastern shore) in regards to how blinds are administered.
A third issue is that in the first year the VDGIF, right or wrong, offered any unsold licenses under the cap described above for sale. There were approximately 12. They were sold as non-riparian blinds and the purchasers could erect their blind in any legal spot (no closer than 500 yards from another, less than 8 feet of water, etc.) just like elsewhere east of I-95. Some of those blinds ended up in the "wheel house" of public hunting marshes thereby impacting float blind hunting opportunities. Some ended up in other contentious spots. As a result unsold blind licenses have not been available since. Not sure what direction that will go in the future.
Other things complicated the circumstances I describe including blinds that were improperly moved during the transition year(s) and weak regulations or laws that protect public hunting in that part of the world.