Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 830. Chapter 830 Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations
7/9/2020

9VAC25-830-140. Development Criteria for Resource Protection Areas.

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 imperious 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.

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.

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.

(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.

(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.

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 Virginia Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC5-15) administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

(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 Virginia Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC5-15) administered by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. 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 his 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 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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 62.1-44.15:69 and 62.1-44.15:72 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC50-90-140 and 9VAC10-20-130 derived from VR173-02-01 § 4.3, eff. September 1, 1989; amended, Volume 06, Issue 01, eff. October 1, 1989; Volume 07, Issue 05, eff. December 9, 1991; Volume 07, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 1991; Volume 18, Issue 09, eff. March 1, 2002; Errata, 18:13 VA.R. 1763 March 11, 2002; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 04, eff. November 21, 2012; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 02, eff. October 23, 2013.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.