The following words and terms used in this chapter have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. In addition, some terms not defined herein are defined in § 62.1-44.15:68 of the Act.
"Act" means the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, Article 2.5 (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Adaptation measure" means a project, practice, or approach to mitigate or address an impact of climate change including sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding including increased or recurrent flooding.
"Best management practice" means a practice, or combination of practices, that is determined by a state or designated area-wide planning agency to be the most effective, practicable means of preventing or reducing the amount of pollution generated by nonpoint sources to a level compatible with water quality goals.
"Board" means the State Water Control Board. When used outside the context of the promulgation of regulations, including regulations to establish general permits, "board" means the Department of Environmental Quality.
"Buffer area" means an area of natural or established vegetation managed to protect other components of a Resource Protection Area and state waters from significant degradation due to land disturbances.
"Canopy tree" means a tree that typically reaches 35 feet in height or taller when mature.
"Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area" means any land designated by a local government pursuant to Part III (9VAC25-830-70 et seq.) of this chapter and § 62.1-44.15:74 of the Act. A Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area shall consist of a Resource Protection Area and a Resource Management Area.
"Daylighted stream" means a stream that had been previously diverted into an underground drainage system and has been redirected into an aboveground channel using natural channel design concepts as defined in § 62.1-44.15:51 of the Code of Virginia, and where the adjacent lands would meet the criteria for being designated as a Resource Protection Area (RPA) as defined by the
board department under this chapter.
"Department" or "DEQ" means the Department of Environmental Quality.
"Development" means the construction or substantial alteration of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, recreation, transportation, or utility facilities or structures.
"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.
"Erosion and Sediment Control Law" means Article 2.4 (§ 62.1-44.15:51 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Floodplain" means all lands that would be inundated by flood water as a result of a storm event of a 100-year return interval.
"Highly erodible soils" means soils (excluding vegetation) with an erodibility index (EI) from sheet and rill erosion equal to or greater than eight. The erodibility index for any soil is defined as the product of the formula RKLS/T, where K is the soil susceptibility to water erosion in the surface layer; R is the rainfall and runoff; LS is the combined effects of slope length and steepness; and T is the soil loss tolerance.
"Highly permeable soils" means soils with a given potential to transmit water through the soil profile. Highly permeable soils are identified as any soil having a permeability equal to or greater than six inches of water movement per hour in any part of the soil profile to a depth of 72 inches (permeability groups "rapid" and "very rapid") as found in the "National Soil Survey Handbook" of November 1996 in the "Field Office Technical Guide" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
"Impervious cover" means a surface composed of any material that significantly impedes or prevents natural infiltration of water into the soil. Impervious surfaces include roofs, buildings, streets, parking areas, and any concrete, asphalt or compacted gravel surface.
"Infill" means utilization of vacant land in previously developed areas.
"Intensely Developed Areas" means those areas designated by the local government pursuant to 9VAC25-830-100.
"Local governments" means counties, cities, and towns. This chapter applies to local governments in Tidewater Virginia, as defined in § 62.1-44.15:68 of the Act, but the provisions of this chapter may be used by other local governments.
"Local program" means the measures by which a local government complies with the Act and this chapter.
"Local program adoption date" means the date a local government meets the requirements of subdivisions 1 and 2 of 9VAC25-830-60.
"Mature tree" means a canopy tree with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 12 inches or greater or an understory tree with a DBH of four inches or greater.
"Nature-based solution" means an approach that reduces the impacts of sea-level rise, flooding and storm events through the use of environmental processes and natural systems.
"Nontidal wetlands" means those wetlands other than tidal wetlands that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to § 404 of the federal Clean Water Act in 33 CFR 328.3b.
"Plan of development" means any process for site plan review in local zoning and land development regulations designed to ensure compliance with § 62.1-44.15:74 of the Act and this chapter, prior to issuance of a building permit.
"Public road" means a publicly owned road designed and constructed in accordance with water quality protection criteria at least as stringent as requirements applicable to the Virginia Department of Transportation, including regulations promulgated pursuant to (i) the Erosion and Sediment Control Law and (ii) the Virginia Stormwater Management Act. This definition includes those roads where the Virginia Department of Transportation exercises direct supervision over the design or construction activities, or both, and cases where secondary roads are constructed or maintained, or both, by a local government in accordance with the standards of that local government.
"Redevelopment" means the process of developing land that is or has been previously developed.
"Resource Management Area" means that component of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area that is not classified as the Resource Protection Area.
"Resource Protection Area" means that component of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area comprised of lands adjacent to water bodies with perennial flow that have an intrinsic water quality value due to the ecological and biological processes they perform or are sensitive to impacts that may result in significant degradation to the quality of state waters.
"Silvicultural activities" means forest management activities, including the harvesting of timber, the construction of roads and trails for forest management purposes, and the preparation of property for reforestation that are conducted in accordance with the silvicultural best management practices developed and enforced by the State Forester pursuant to § 10.1-1105 of the Code of Virginia and are located on property defined as real estate devoted to forest use under § 58.1-3230 of the Code of Virginia.
"Substantial alteration" means expansion or modification of a building or development that would result in a disturbance of land exceeding an area of 2,500 square feet in the Resource Management Area only.
"Tidal shore" or "shore" means land contiguous to a tidal body of water between the mean low water level and the mean high water level.
"Tidal wetlands" means vegetated and nonvegetated wetlands as defined in § 28.2-1300 of the Code of Virginia.
"Tidewater Virginia" means those jurisdictions named in § 62.1-44.15:68 of the Act.
"Understory tree" means a tree that typically reaches 12 feet to 35 feet in height when mature.
"Use" means an activity on the land other than development including agriculture, horticulture and silviculture.
"Virginia Stormwater Management Act" means Article 2.3 (§ 62.1-44.15:24 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Water-dependent facility" means a development of land that cannot exist outside of the Resource Protection Area and must be located on the shoreline by reason of the intrinsic nature of its operation. These facilities include (i) ports; (ii) the intake and outfall structures of power plants, water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, and storm sewers; (iii) marinas and other boat docking structures; (iv) beaches and other public water-oriented recreation areas; and (v) fisheries or other marine resources facilities.
A. Local programs shall contain the elements listed below.
1. A map delineating Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas.
2. Performance criteria applying in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas that employ the requirements in Part IV (9VAC25-830-120 et seq.) of this chapter.
3. A comprehensive plan or revision that incorporates the protection of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and of the quality of state waters, in accordance with criteria set forth in Part V (9VAC25-830-160 et seq.) of this chapter.
4. A zoning ordinance or revision that (i) incorporates measures to protect the quality of state waters in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, as set forth in Part VI (9VAC25-830-180 et seq.) of this chapter, and (ii) requires compliance with all criteria set forth in Part IV (9VAC25-830-120 et seq.) of this chapter.
5. A subdivision ordinance or revision that (i) incorporates measures to protect the quality of state waters in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, as set forth in Part VI (9VAC25-830-180 et seq.) of this chapter, and (ii) assures that all subdivisions in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas comply with the criteria set forth in Part IV (9VAC25-830-120 et seq.) of this chapter.
6. A plan of development process prior to the issuance of a building permit to assure that use and development of land in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas is accomplished in a manner that protects the quality of state waters.
B. Each local government in Tidewater Virginia shall publish on its website the elements and criteria adopted to implement the local government's local plan, including those elements and criteria required by subsection A of this section.
A. Resource Management Areas shall include land types that, if improperly used or developed, have a potential for causing significant water quality degradation or for diminishing the functional value of the Resource Protection Area.
B. A Resource Management Area shall be provided contiguous to the entire inland boundary of the Resource Protection Area. The following land categories shall be considered for inclusion in the Resource Management Area and, where mapping resources indicate the presence of these land types contiguous to the Resource Protection Area, should be included in designations of Resource Management Areas:
2. Highly erodible soils, including steep slopes;
3. Highly permeable soils;
4. Nontidal wetlands not included in the Resource Protection Area; and
5. Such other lands considered by the local government to meet the provisions of subsection A of this section and to be necessary to protect the quality of state waters.
C. Resource Management Areas shall encompass a land area large enough to provide significant water quality protection through the employment of the criteria in Part IV (9VAC25-830-120 et seq.) and the requirements in Parts II (9VAC25-830-50 et seq.) and V (9VAC25-830-160 et seq.) of this chapter.
1. Local governments with few or no Resource Management Area land types evident from available mapping resources should evaluate the relationships of the following land categories to water quality protection in making their Resource Management Area designations. The
board department will consider the degree to which these land categories are included when evaluating the consistency of a locality's Resource Management Area designation for achievement of significant water quality protection:
a. Known Resource Management Area land types;
b. Developable land within the jurisdiction;
c. Areas targeted for redevelopment; and
d. Areas served by piped or channelized stormwater drainage systems which provide no treatment of stormwater discharges.
2. Localities with no mapping resources or with mapping resources for only portions of their jurisdiction should evaluate the relationships of the following land categories to water quality protection in making their Resource Management Area designations. The
board department will consider the degree to which these land categories are included when evaluating the consistency of a local government's Resource Management Area designation for achievement of significant water quality protection. Furthermore, such designations may be considered an interim designation until such time as appropriate mapping resources become available if such resources are considered by the board department to be useful in determining the Resource Management Area boundaries, in which case the board department will reevaluate the interim Resource Management Area designations at a later date:
a. Known Resource Management Area land types;
b. Developable land within the jurisdiction;
c. Areas targeted for redevelopment; and
d. Areas served by piped or channelized stormwater drainage systems which provide no treatment of stormwater discharges.
3. Local governments should consider extending the Resource Management Area boundary to the remainder of the lot, parcel, or development project upon which Resource Management Area-type features are present.
4. Local governments shall demonstrate how significant water quality protection will be achieved within designated Resource Management Areas, as well as by each local program as a whole, and to explain the rationale for excluding eligible Resource Management Area components that are not designated.
5. It is not the intent of the board, nor is it the intent of the Act or this chapter, to require that local governments designate all lands within their jurisdiction as Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas. It is also not the intent of the board to discourage or preclude jurisdiction-wide designations of Resource Management Areas when the local government considers such designations appropriate, recognizing that greater water quality protection will result from more expansive implementation of the performance criteria. The extent of the Resource Management Area designation should always be based on the prevalence and relation of Resource Management Area land types and other appropriate land areas to water quality protection.
Through their applicable land use ordinances, regulations, and enforcement mechanisms, local governments shall require that any use, development, or redevelopment of land in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas meets the following performance criteria:
1. No more land shall be disturbed than is necessary to provide for the proposed use or development.
2. Indigenous vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with the use or development proposed. Mature trees shall be protected during development and only removed where necessary, including to provide for the proposed use or development.
A locality which has an ordinance providing for the conservation, planting, and replacement of trees during the land development process pursuant to § 15.2-961 or 15.2-961.1 of the Code of Virginia may rely on such ordinance for demonstrating compliance with this requirement related to mature trees in Resource Management Areas.
3. All development exceeding 2,500 square feet of land disturbance shall be accomplished through a plan of development review process consistent with § 15.2-2286 A 8 of the Code of Virginia and subdivision 1 e of 9VAC25-830-240.
4. Land development shall minimize impervious cover consistent with the proposed use or development.
5. Any land disturbing activity that exceeds an area of 2,500 square feet (including construction of all single family houses, septic tanks, and drainfields, but otherwise as defined in § 62.1-44.15:51 of the Code of Virginia) shall comply with the requirements of the local erosion and sediment control ordinance. Enforcement for noncompliance with the erosion and sediment control requirements referenced in this criterion shall be conducted under the provisions of the Erosion and Sediment Control Law and attendant regulations.
6. Any Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act land-disturbing activity as defined in § 62.1-44.15:24 of the Code of Virginia shall comply with the requirements of 9VAC25-870-51 and 9VAC25-870-103.
7. Onsite sewage treatment systems not requiring a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit shall:
a. Have pump-out accomplished for all such systems at least once every five years.
(1) If deemed appropriate by the local health department and subject to conditions the local health department may set, local governments may offer to the owners of such systems, as an alternative to the mandatory pump-out, the option of having a plastic filter installed and maintained in the outflow pipe from the septic tank to filter solid material from the effluent while sustaining adequate flow to the drainfield to permit normal use of the septic system. Such a filter should satisfy standards established in the Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations (12VAC5-610) administered by the Virginia Department of Health.
(2) Furthermore, in lieu of requiring proof of septic tank pump-out every five years, local governments may allow owners of onsite sewage treatment systems to submit documentation every five years, certified by an operator or onsite soil evaluator licensed or certified under Chapter 23 (§ 54.1-2300 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia as being qualified to operate, maintain, or design onsite sewage systems, that the septic system has been inspected, is functioning properly, and the tank does not need to have the effluent pumped out of it.
(3) Effective July 1, 2023, requirements of this section directly related to compliance with onsite sewage system pump-outs shall be managed and enforced by the Virginia Department of Health in Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Counties, and the incorporated towns within those counties.
b. For new construction, provide a reserve sewage disposal site with a capacity at least equal to that of the primary sewage disposal site. This reserve sewage disposal site requirement shall not apply to any lot or parcel recorded prior to October 1, 1989, if the lot or parcel is not sufficient in capacity to accommodate a reserve sewage disposal site, as determined by the local health department. Building shall be prohibited on the area of all sewage disposal sites until the structure is served by public sewer or an onsite sewage treatment system that operates under a permit issued by the
board department. All sewage disposal site records shall be administered to provide adequate notice and enforcement. As an alternative to the 100% reserve sewage disposal site, local governments may offer the owners of such systems the option of installing an alternating drainfield system meeting the following conditions:
(1) Each of the two alternating drainfields in the system shall have, at a minimum, an area not less than 50% of the area that would otherwise be required if a single primary drainfield were constructed.
(2) An area equaling 50% of the area that would otherwise be required for the primary drainfield site must be reserved for subsurface absorption systems that utilize a flow diversion device, in order to provide for future replacement or repair to meet the requirements for a sewage disposal system. Expansion of the primary system will require an expansion of this reserve area.
(3) The two alternating drainfields shall be connected by a diversion valve, approved by the local health department, located in the pipe between the septic (aerobic) tank and the distribution boxes. The diversion valve shall be used to alternate the direction of effluent flow to one drainfield or the other at a time. However, diversion valves shall not be used for the following types of treatment systems:
(a) Sand mounds;
(b) Low-pressure distribution systems;
(c) Repair situations when installation of a valve is not feasible; and
(d) Any other approved system for which the use of a valve would adversely affect the design of the system, as determined by the local health department.
(4) The diversion valve shall be a three-port, two-way valve of approved materials (i.e., resistant to sewage and leakproof and designed so that the effluent from the tank can be directed to flow into either one of the two distribution boxes).
(5) There shall be a conduit from the top of the valve to the ground surface with an appropriate cover to be level with or above the ground surface.
(6) The valve shall not be located in driveways, recreational courts, parking lots, or beneath sheds or other structures.
(7) In lieu of the aforementioned diversion valve, any device that can be designed and constructed to conveniently direct the flow of effluent from the tank into either one of the two distribution boxes may be approved if plans are submitted to the local health department and found to be satisfactory.
(8) The local government shall require that the owner alternate the drainfields every 12 months to permit the yearly resting of half of the absorption system.
(9) The local government shall ensure that the owner are notified annually of the requirement to switch the valve to the opposite drainfield.
8. Land upon which agricultural activities are being conducted, including crop production, pasture, and dairy and feedlot operations, or lands otherwise defined as agricultural land by the local government, shall have a soil and water quality conservation assessment conducted that evaluates the effectiveness of existing practices pertaining to soil erosion and sediment control, nutrient management, and management of pesticides, and, where necessary, results in a plan that outlines additional practices needed to ensure that water quality protection is being accomplished consistent with the Act and this chapter.
a. Recommendations for additional conservation practices need address only those conservation issues applicable to the tract or field being assessed. Any soil and water quality conservation practices that are recommended as a result of such an assessment and are subsequently implemented with financial assistance from federal or state cost-share programs must be designed, consistent with cost-share practice standards effective in January 1999 in the "Field Office Technical Guide" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service or the June 2000 edition of the "Virginia Agricultural BMP Manual" of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, respectively. Unless otherwise specified in this section, general standards pertaining to the various agricultural conservation practices being assessed shall be as follows:
(1) For erosion and sediment control recommendations, the goal shall be, where feasible, to prevent erosion from exceeding the soil loss tolerance level, referred to as "T," as defined in the "National Soil Survey Handbook" of November 1996 in the "Field Office Technical Guide" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service. However, in no case shall erosion exceed the soil loss consistent with an Alternative Conservation System, referred to as an "ACS", as defined in the "Field Office Technical Guide" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service.
(2) For nutrient management, whenever nutrient management plans are developed, the operator or landowner must provide soil test information, consistent with the Virginia Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC50-85).
(3) For pest chemical control, referrals shall be made to the local cooperative extension agent or an Integrated Pest Management Specialist of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service. Recommendations shall include copies of applicable information from the "Virginia Pest Management Guide" or other Extension materials related to pest control.
b. A higher priority shall be placed on conducting assessments of agricultural fields and tracts adjacent to Resource Protection Areas. However, if the landowner or operator of such a tract also has Resource Management Area fields or tracts in his operation, the assessment for that landowner or operator may be conducted for all fields or tracts in the operation. When such an expanded assessment is completed, priority must return to Resource Protection Area fields and tracts.
c. The findings and recommendations of such assessments and any resulting soil and water quality conservation plans will be submitted to the local Soil and Water Conservation District Board, which will be the plan-approving authority.
9. Silvicultural activities in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas are exempt from this chapter provided that silvicultural operations adhere to water quality protection procedures prescribed by the Virginia Department of Forestry in the Fifth Edition (March 2011) of "Virginia's Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality Technical Manual." The Virginia Department of Forestry will oversee and document installation of best management practices and will monitor in-stream impacts of forestry operations in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas.
10. Local governments shall require evidence of all wetlands permits required by law prior to authorizing grading or other onsite activities to begin.
In addition to the general performance criteria set forth in 9VAC25-830-130, the criteria in this section are applicable in Resource Protection Areas.
1. Land development may be allowed in the Resource Protection Area, subject to approval by the local government, only if it (i) is water dependent; (ii) constitutes redevelopment; (iii) constitutes development or redevelopment within a designated Intensely Developed Area; (iv) is a new use established pursuant to subdivision 4 a of this section; (v) is a road or driveway crossing satisfying the conditions set forth in subdivision 1 d of this section; or (vi) is a flood control or stormwater management facility satisfying the conditions set forth in subdivision 1 e of this section.
a. A water quality impact assessment in accordance with subdivision 6 of this section shall be required for any proposed land disturbance.
b. A new or expanded water-dependent facility may be allowed provided that the following criteria are met:
(1) It does not conflict with the comprehensive plan;
(2) It complies with the performance criteria set forth in 9VAC25-830-130;
(3) Any nonwater-dependent component is located outside of Resource Protection Areas; and
(4) Access to the water-dependent facility will be provided with the minimum disturbance necessary. Where practicable, a single point of access will be provided.
c. Redevelopment outside locally designated Intensely Developed Areas shall be permitted in the Resource Protection Area only if there is no increase in the amount of impervious cover and no further encroachment within the Resource Protection Area, and it shall conform to applicable erosion and sediment control and stormwater management criteria set forth in the Erosion and Sediment Control Law and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act and their attendant regulations, as well as all applicable stormwater management requirements of other state and federal agencies.
d. Roads and driveways not exempt under subdivision B 1 of 9VAC25-830-150 and which, therefore, must comply with the provisions of this chapter, may be constructed in or across Resource Protection Areas if each of the following conditions is met:
(1) The local government makes a finding that there are no reasonable alternatives to aligning the road or driveway in or across the Resource Protection Area;
(2) The alignment and design of the road or driveway are optimized, consistent with other applicable requirements, to minimize (i) encroachment in the Resource Protection Area and (ii) adverse effects on water quality;
(3) The design and construction of the road or driveway satisfy all applicable criteria of this chapter, including submission of a water quality impact assessment; and
(4) The local government reviews the plan for the road or driveway proposed in or across the Resource Protection Area in coordination with local government site plan, subdivision and plan of development approvals.
e. Flood control and stormwater management facilities that drain or treat water from multiple development projects or from a significant portion of a watershed may be allowed in Resource Protection Areas provided such facilities are allowed and constructed in accordance with the Virginia Stormwater Management Act and its attendant regulations, and provided that (i) the local government has conclusively established that location of the facility within the Resource Protection Area is the optimum location; (ii) the size of the facility is the minimum necessary to provide necessary flood control or stormwater treatment, or both; (iii) the facility must be consistent with a comprehensive stormwater management plan developed and approved in accordance with 9VAC25-870-92 of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) regulations; (iv) all applicable permits for construction in state or federal waters must be obtained from the appropriate state and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the department, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission; (v) approval must be received from the local government prior to construction; and (vi) routine maintenance is allowed to be performed on such facilities to assure that they continue to function as designed. It is not the intent of this subdivision to allow a best management practice that collects and treats runoff from only an individual lot or some portion of the lot to be located within a Resource Protection Area.
2. Exemptions in Resource Protection Areas. The following land disturbances in Resource Protection Areas may be exempt from the criteria of this part provided that they comply with subdivisions a and b of this subdivision 2: (i) water wells; (ii) passive recreation facilities such as boardwalks, trails, and pathways; and (iii) historic preservation and archaeological activities:
a. Local governments shall establish administrative procedures to review such exemptions.
b. Any land disturbance exceeding an area of 2,500 square feet shall comply with the erosion and sediment control criteria in subdivision 5 of 9VAC25-830-130.
3. Buffer area requirements. The 100-foot wide buffer area shall be the landward component of the Resource Protection Area as set forth in subdivision B 5 of 9VAC25-830-80. Notwithstanding permitted uses, encroachments, and vegetation clearing, as set forth in this section, the 100-foot wide buffer area is not reduced in width. To minimize the adverse effects of human activities on the other components of the Resource Protection Area, state waters, and aquatic life, a 100-foot wide buffer area of vegetation that is effective in retarding runoff, preventing erosion, and filtering nonpoint source pollution from runoff shall be retained if present and established where it does not exist. Where such buffer must be established, the planting of trees shall be incorporated as appropriate to site conditions and in such a manner to maximize the buffer function. Inclusion of native species in tree planting is preferred.
a. The 100-foot wide buffer area shall be deemed to achieve a 75% reduction of sediments and a 40% reduction of nutrients.
b. Where land uses such as agriculture or silviculture within the area of the buffer cease and the lands are proposed to be converted to other uses, the full 100-foot wide buffer shall be reestablished. In reestablishing the buffer, management measures shall be undertaken to provide woody vegetation that assures the buffer functions set forth in this chapter. Where such buffer must be reestablished, the planting of trees shall be incorporated as appropriate to site conditions and in such a manner to maximize the buffer function. Inclusion of native species in tree planting is preferred.
4. Permitted encroachments into the buffer area.
a. When the application of the buffer area would result in the loss of a buildable area on a lot or parcel recorded prior to October 1, 1989, encroachments into the buffer area may be allowed through an administrative process in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) Encroachments into the buffer area shall be the minimum necessary to achieve a reasonable buildable area for a principal structure and necessary utilities.
(2) Where practicable, a vegetated area that will maximize water quality protection, mitigate the effects of the buffer encroachment, and is equal to the area of encroachment into the buffer area shall be established elsewhere on the lot or parcel. Such vegetated area where established shall include the planting of trees as appropriate to site conditions. Inclusion of native species in tree planting is preferred.
(3) The encroachment may not extend into the seaward 50 feet of the buffer area.
b. When the application of the buffer area would result in the loss of a buildable area on a lot or parcel recorded between October 1, 1989, and March 1, 2002, encroachments into the buffer area may be allowed through an administrative process in accordance with the following criteria:
(1) The lot or parcel was created as a result of a legal process conducted in conformity with the local government's subdivision regulations;
(2) Conditions or mitigation measures imposed through a previously approved exception shall be met;
(3) If the use of a best management practice (BMP) was previously required, the BMP shall be evaluated to determine if it continues to function effectively and, if necessary, the BMP shall be reestablished or repaired and maintained as required; and
(4) The criteria in subdivision 4 a of this section shall be met.
5. Permitted modifications of the buffer area.
a. In order to maintain the functional value of the buffer area, existing vegetation may be removed, subject to approval by the local government, only to provide for reasonable sight lines, access paths, general woodlot management, and best management practices, including those that prevent upland erosion and concentrated flows of stormwater, as follows:
(1) Trees may be pruned or removed as necessary to provide for sight lines and vistas, provided that where removed, they shall be replaced with other vegetation that is equally effective in retarding runoff, preventing erosion, and filtering nonpoint source pollution from runoff. Mature trees shall be preserved and trimmed or pruned in lieu of removal as site conditions permit and any removal should be limited to the fewest number of trees feasible. When trees are removed to provide for sight lines and vista, they shall be replaced with trees as appropriate to site conditions and in such a manner as to maximize the buffer function and to protect the quality of state waters. Inclusion of native species in tree replanting is preferred.
(2) Any path shall be constructed and surfaced so as to effectively control erosion.
(3) Dead, diseased, or dying trees or shrubbery and noxious weeds (such as Johnson grass, kudzu, and multiflora rose) may be removed and thinning of trees may be allowed pursuant to sound horticultural practice incorporated into locally-adopted standards.
(4) For shoreline erosion control projects, trees and woody vegetation may be removed, necessary control techniques employed, and appropriate vegetation established to protect or stabilize the shoreline in accordance with the best available technical advice and applicable permit conditions or requirements. Mature trees shall be removed only as necessary for the installation and maintenance of the projects consistent with the best available technical advice project plans, and applicable permit conditions or requirements. Trees shall be utilized in the project when vegetation is being established as appropriate to the site conditions and the project specifications. Inclusion of native species in tree planting is preferred.
b. On agricultural lands the agricultural buffer area shall be managed to prevent concentrated flows of surface water from breaching the buffer area and appropriate measures may be taken to prevent noxious weeds (such as Johnson grass, kudzu, and multiflora rose) from invading the buffer area. Agricultural activities may encroach into the buffer area as follows:
(1) Agricultural activities may encroach into the landward 50 feet of the 100-foot wide buffer area when at least one agricultural best management practice which, in the opinion of the local soil and water conservation district board, addresses the more predominant water quality issue on the adjacent land—erosion control or nutrient management—is being implemented on the adjacent land, provided that the combination of the undisturbed buffer area and the best management practice achieves water quality protection, pollutant removal, and water resource conservation at least the equivalent of the 100-foot wide buffer area. If nutrient management is identified as the predominant water quality issue, a nutrient management plan, including soil tests, must be developed consistent with the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC50-85) administered by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board.
(2) Agricultural activities may encroach within the landward 75 feet of the 100-foot wide buffer area when agricultural best management practices which address erosion control, nutrient management, and pest chemical control, are being implemented on the adjacent land. The erosion control practices must prevent erosion from exceeding the soil loss tolerance level, referred to as "T," as defined in the "National Soil Survey Handbook" of November 1996 in the "Field Office Technical Guide" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service. A nutrient management plan, including soil tests, must be developed, consistent with the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC50-85) administered by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. In conjunction with the remaining buffer area, this collection of best management practices shall be presumed to achieve water quality protection at least the equivalent of that provided by the 100-foot wide buffer area.
(3) The buffer area is not required to be designated adjacent to agricultural drainage ditches if at least one best management practice which, in the opinion of the local soil and water conservation district board, addresses the more predominant water quality issue on the adjacent land—either erosion control or nutrient management—is being implemented on the adjacent land.
(4) If specific problems are identified pertaining to agricultural activities that are causing pollution of the nearby water body with perennial flow or violate performance standards pertaining to the vegetated buffer area, the local government, in cooperation with soil and water conservation district, shall recommend a compliance schedule to the landowner and require the problems to be corrected consistent with that schedule. This schedule shall expedite environmental protection while taking into account the seasons and other temporal considerations so that the probability for successfully implementing the corrective measures is greatest.
(5) In cases where the landowner or the landowner's agent or operator has refused assistance from the local soil and water conservation district in complying with or documenting compliance with the agricultural requirements of this chapter, the district shall report the noncompliance to the local government. The local government shall require the landowner to correct the problems within a specified period of time not to exceed 18 months from their initial notification of the deficiencies to the landowner. The local government, in cooperation with the district, shall recommend a compliance schedule to the landowner. This schedule shall expedite environmental protection while taking into account the seasons and other temporal considerations so that the probability for successfully implementing the corrective measures is greatest.
6. Water quality impact assessment. A water quality impact assessment shall be required for any proposed development within the Resource Protection Area consistent with this part and for any other development in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas that may warrant such assessment because of the unique characteristics of the site or intensity of the proposed use or development.
a. The purpose of the water quality impact assessment is to identify the impacts of proposed development on water quality and lands in the Resource Protection Areas consistent with the goals and objectives of the Act, this chapter, and local programs, and to determine specific measures for mitigation of those impacts. The specific content and procedures for the water quality impact assessment shall be established by each local government. Local governments should notify the
board department of all development requiring such an assessment.
b. The water quality impact assessment shall be of sufficient specificity to demonstrate compliance with the criteria of the local program.
7. Buffer area requirements for Intensely Developed Areas. In Intensely Developed Areas the local government may exercise discretion regarding whether to require establishment of vegetation in the 100-foot wide buffer area. However, while the immediate establishment of vegetation in the buffer area may be impractical, local governments shall give consideration to implementing measures that would establish vegetation in the buffer in these areas over time in order to maximize water quality protection, pollutant removal, and water resource conservation. In considering such measures, local governments shall consider the planting of trees as a component of any such measure. Inclusion of native species in tree planting is preferred.
A. The department will prepare guidance to assist local governments in the administration of local programs in order to implement the Act and this chapter. The guidance will be updated periodically to reflect the most current planning and zoning techniques, effective best management practices, and amendments to the Act or regulations. The guidance will be made available to the public.
B. The guidance will recommend a schedule for the completion of local program elements and their submission to the
board department for its information to ensure timely achievement of the requirements of the Act and timely receipt of assistance. The board department will consider compliance with the schedule in allocating financial and technical assistance.
board department will establish liaison with each local government to assist the local government in developing and implementing its local program, in obtaining technical and financial assistance, and in complying with the Act and this chapter.
Local governments must adopt the full management program, which will consist of Phases I-III as defined in this section and including any revisions to comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and other local authorities necessary to implement the Act. Prior to adoption, local governments may submit any proposed revisions to the
board department for comments. Criteria are provided below for local government use in preparing local programs and the board's department's use in determining local program consistency.
1. Phase I shall consist of the designation of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and adoption of the performance criteria. This phase of designating Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas as an element of the local program should include:
a. Utilizing existing data and mapping resources to identify and describe tidal wetlands, nontidal wetlands, tidal shores, water bodies with perennial flow, flood plains, highly erodible soils including steep slopes, highly permeable areas, and other sensitive environmental resources as necessary to comply with Part III (9VAC25-830-70 et seq.) of this chapter;
b. Determining, based upon the identification and description, the extent of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas within the local jurisdiction;
c. Preparing an appropriate map or maps delineating Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas;
d. Preparing amendments to local ordinances that incorporate the performance criteria of Part IV (9VAC25-830-120 et seq.) of this chapter or the model ordinance prepared by the
e. Establishing, if necessary, and incorporating a plan of development review process. Local governments shall make provisions as necessary to ensure that any development of land within Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas shall be accomplished through a plan of development procedure pursuant to § 15.2-2286 A 8 of the Code of Virginia to ensure compliance with the Act and this chapter. Any exemptions from those review requirements shall be established and administered in a manner that ensures compliance with this chapter.
f. Conducting a public hearing. Prior to adopting Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and the performance criteria, each local government shall hold a public hearing to solicit public comment regarding these local program components.
g. Providing copies of the adopted program documents and subsequent changes thereto to the
board department for consistency review, as set forth in subdivision 5 of this section.
2. Phase II shall consist of local governments reviewing and revising their comprehensive plans, as necessary, for compliance with § 62.1-44.15:74 of the Act, in accordance with the provisions set forth in Part V (9VAC25-830-160 et seq.) of this chapter.
3. Phase III shall consist of local governments reviewing and revising their land development regulations and processes, which include but are not limited to zoning ordinances, subdivision ordinances, and the plan of development review process, as necessary, to comply with § 62.1-44.15:74 of the Act and to be consistent with the provisions set forth in Part VI (9VAC25-830-180 et seq.) of this chapter.
4. Consistent with §§ 62.1-44.15:73, 62.1-44.15:74, and 62.1-44.15:77 of the Act local governments may use civil penalties to enforce compliance with the requirements of local programs.
5. Review by the
board department will review proposed elements of a program phase within 60 days according to review policies adopted by the board department. If the proposed program phase is consistent with the Act, the board department will schedule a conference with the local government to determine what additional technical and financial assistance may be needed and available to accomplish the proposed program phase. If the proposed program phase or any part thereof is not consistent, the board department will notify the local government in writing, stating the reasons for a determination of inconsistency and specifying needed changes. Copies of the adopted program documents and subsequent changes thereto shall be provided to the board department.
board department will review locally adopted elements of a program phase according to review policies adopted by the board and as set forth in 9VAC25-830-260.
The Act requires that the
board department ensure that local governments comply with the Act and regulations and that their comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances and subdivision ordinances are in accordance with the Act. To satisfy these requirements, the board has adopted this chapter, and the department will monitor each local government's compliance with the Act and this chapter.
Subdivision 8 of § 62.1-44.15:69 and § 62.1-44.15:71 of the Act provide that the
board department shall ensure that local government comprehensive plans, subdivision ordinances and zoning ordinances are in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and that it shall determine such compliance in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act. The Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) shall govern the review activities and proceedings of the board department and the judicial review thereof. The board department will provide a copy of its decision to the local government. If any deficiencies are found, the board department will establish a schedule for the local government to come into compliance.
1. In order to carry out its mandated responsibilities under subdivision 10 of § 62.1-44.15:69 and § 62.1-44.15:71 of the Act, the
board department will:
a. Require that each Tidewater local government submit an annual implementation report outlining the implementation of the local program. The
board department will develop reporting criteria which outline the information to be included in the reports and the time frame for their submission. The board department will use the information in these reports to assess local patterns of compliance with the Act and this chapter and to evaluate the need for an administrative proceeding to more closely review any individual local government's compliance. All proceedings of this nature will be developed and conducted in accordance with this section.
b. Develop a compliance review process. Reviews will occur on a five-year cycle, and, when feasible, will be conducted as part of the local government's comprehensive plan review and update process. The department may also conduct a comprehensive or partial program compliance review and evaluation of a local government program more frequently than the standard schedule. The review process shall consist of a self-evaluation by each local government of local program implementation and enforcement as well as an evaluation by department staff. Based on these evaluations, the
board department may find the program compliant or, if deficiencies are found, the board department will establish a corrective action plan and a schedule for the local government to come into compliance. The board department shall provide a copy of its decision to the local government that specifies the deficiencies, actions needed to be taken, and the approved compliance schedule. If the local government has not implemented the necessary compliance actions identified by the board department within the schedule established by the board department, or such additional period as is granted to complete the implementation of the compliance actions, then the board department shall have the authority to issue a special order to any local government imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 per day with the maximum amount not to exceed $20,000 per day per violation for noncompliance with the state program, to be paid into the state treasury and deposited into the Virginia Stormwater Management Fund established by § 62.1-44.15:29 of the Code of Virginia.
(1) The self-evaluation shall be conducted by each local government according to procedures developed by the
(2) At a minimum, the department staff's evaluation will include a review of previous annual reports and site visits.
2. Certification of a local program. Upon a satisfactory finding resulting from the compliance review process, the
board department will certify that the local program is being implemented and enforced by the local government consistent with the Act and this chapter and is, therefore, in compliance. Such a certification shall be valid for a period of five years until the local government's next scheduled review, unless the board department finds a pattern of noncompliance during the interim period of time, pursuant to subdivision 1 of this section.
Subdivision 10 of § 62.1-44.15:69 and § 62.1-44.15:71 of the Act provide that the
board department shall take administrative and legal actions to ensure compliance by local governments with the provisions of the Act. Before taking legal action against a local government to ensure compliance, the board department shall, unless it finds extraordinary circumstances, initiate a proceeding under the Act and 9VAC25-830-260 to obtain such compliance and give the local government at least 15 days notice of the time and place at which it will decide whether or not to take legal action. If it finds extraordinary circumstances, the board department may proceed directly to request the Attorney General to enforce compliance with the Act and this chapter. Administrative actions will be taken pursuant to 9VAC25-830-260. The director, or his designee, may perform any act of the board provided under this chapter, except as limited by § 62.1-44.14 of the Code of Virginia.