DPWES Letters to Industry


Land Development Services
12055 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-5503
703-324-1780, TTY 711

March 31, 2003
03-05

Policy and Procedures for Implementation of Infill and Residential Development Study Recommendation SW-10

Issue:

New submission requirements associated with recommendation SW-10 of the Infill and Residential Development Study will be effective for all first submission site plans, subdivision plans, rough grading plans, bonded grading plans where the limits of disturbance have not been included in the subdivision plans, public improvement plans, infill plans, and minor site plans that are submitted on or after May 12, 2003. The details of the new requirements which were developed by a committee of private and public professionals are provided in the document entitled "Policy and Procedures for the Evaluation of Downstream Impoundments." The document contains the new submission requirements as well as the role of the design professionals and review staff in implementation.

Background:

Developers and downstream property owners share a common desire to have minimal impact caused by upstream land development activities. Impacts in the form of siltation to downstream properties, especially natural resources, may result in significant liabilities to a developer involving litigation with the affected parties that may take a substantial amount of time and expense to resolve. Certainly the downstream property owner would like to avoid damages resulting in costly resolution as well. The County can provide assistance to both parties by requesting information that identifies and quantifies existing conditions prior to land disturbance. Without definitive measurements of pre-existing conditions, it has been difficult for all parties to reach agreement on downstream damages caused by the land disturbing activities of a developer's project. Neither party is served well in these situations, which have become more frequent as infill development continues in the County. The existence of siltation that occurred prior to development can make the determination of liability even more difficult. Downstream property owners are sometimes left with no remedy for siltation on their properties because they are unable to prove that a particular development caused the siltation. Likewise, developers are unable to quantify the extent of their responsibility.

If you have any questions regarding submission requirements, please call Environmental and Facilities Review Division at 703-324-1720, TTY 711.


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