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

9VAC25-830-150. Nonconformities, exemptions, and exceptions.

A. Nonconforming uses and noncomplying structures.

1. Local governments may permit the continued use, but not necessarily the expansion, of any structure in existence on the date of local program adoption. Local governments may establish an administrative review procedure to waive or modify the criteria of this part for structures on legal nonconforming lots or parcels provided that:

a. There will be no net increase in nonpoint source pollutant load; and

b. Any development or land disturbance exceeding an area of 2,500 square feet complies with all erosion and sediment control requirements of this part.

2. This chapter shall not be construed to prevent the reconstruction of pre-existing structures within Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas from occurring as a result of casualty loss unless otherwise restricted by local government ordinances.

B. Public utilities, railroads, public roads, and facilities exemptions.

1. Construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of electric, natural gas, fiber-optic, and telephone transmission lines, railroads, and public roads and their appurtenant structures in accordance with (i) regulations promulgated pursuant to the Erosion and Sediment Control Law and the Virginia Stormwater Management Act, (ii) an erosion and sediment control plan and a stormwater management plan approved by the department, or (iii) local water quality protection criteria at least as stringent as the above state requirements will be deemed to constitute compliance with this chapter. The exemption of public roads is further conditioned on the following:

a. Optimization of the road alignment and design, consistent with other applicable requirements, to prevent or otherwise minimize (i) encroachment in the Resource Protection Area and (ii) adverse effects on water quality; and

b. Local governments may choose to exempt (i) all public roads as defined in 9VAC25-830-40, or (ii) only those public roads constructed by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

2. Construction, installation and maintenance of water, sewer, natural gas, and underground telecommunications and cable television lines owned, permitted, or both, by a local government or regional service authority shall be exempt from the criteria in this part provided that:

a. To the degree possible, the location of such utilities and facilities should be outside Resource Protection Areas;

b. No more land shall be disturbed than is necessary to provide for the proposed utility installation;

c. All such construction, installation and maintenance of such utilities and facilities shall be in compliance with all applicable state and federal permits and designed and conducted in a manner that protects water quality; and

d. Any land disturbance exceeding an area of 2,500 square feet complies with all erosion and sediment control requirements of this part.

C. Exceptions.

1. Exceptions to the requirements of 9VAC25-830-130 and 9VAC25-830-140 may be granted, provided that a finding is made that:

a. The requested exception to the criteria is the minimum necessary to afford relief;

b. Granting the exception will not confer upon the applicant any special privileges that are denied by this part to other property owners who are subject to its provisions and who are similarly situated;

c. The exception is in harmony with the purpose and intent of this part and is not of substantial detriment to water quality;

d. The exception request is not based upon conditions or circumstances that are self-created or self-imposed;

e. Reasonable and appropriate conditions are imposed, as warranted, that will prevent the allowed activity from causing a degradation of water quality; and

f. Other findings, as appropriate and required by the local government, are met.

2. Each local government shall design and implement an appropriate process or processes for the administration of exceptions. The process to be used for exceptions to 9VAC25-830-140 shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:

a. An exception may be considered and acted upon only by the local legislative body; the local planning commission; or a special committee, board or commission established or designated by the local government to implement the provisions of the Act and this chapter.

b. Local governments implementing this chapter through the local zoning code may provide for specific provisions that allow for consideration of exceptions that comply with subdivision 2 of this subsection.

c. The provision of subdivision 2 b of this subsection notwithstanding, no exception shall be authorized except after notice and a hearing, as required by § 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia, except that only one hearing shall be required. However, when giving any required notice to the owners, their agents or the occupants of abutting property and property immediately across the street or road from the property affected, the notice may be given by first-class mail rather than by registered or certified mail.

3. Exceptions to other provisions of this part may be granted, provided that:

a. Exceptions to the criteria shall be the minimum necessary to afford relief; and

b. Reasonable and appropriate conditions upon any exception granted shall be imposed, as necessary, so that the purpose and intent of the Act is preserved.

4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 2 a through 2 c of this subsection, additions and modifications to existing legal principal structures may be processed through an administrative review process, as allowed by subsection A of this section, subject to the findings required by subdivision 1 of this subsection but without a requirement for a public hearing. This provision shall not apply to accessory structures.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Former 4VAC50-90-150 and 9VAC10-20-150 derived from VR173-02-01 § 4.5, eff. September 1, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 6, Issue 1, eff. October 1, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 5, eff. December 9, 1991; Volume 7, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 1991; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. March 1, 2002; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. November 21, 2012; amended and renumbered, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 2, eff. October 23, 2013.

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