Understanding the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Amendments
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Aug. 14, 2003
Understanding the Chesapeake Bay
Preservation Ordinance Amendments
On July 7, 2003, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance and other county ordinances to implement changes to the state's Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations. The centerpiece of the revised state regulations is that Resource Protection Areas, known as RPAs, must now be designated around all water bodies with perennial flow. This will result in an increase in the extent of RPAs throughout Fairfax County and property owners and businesses will be interested to know how this increase in RPAs may affect them.
Recognizing this interest, a public information campaign has been
implemented at the request of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. As
part of the campaign, the county's cable Channel 16 will air a program
about the amendments every Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on
Sundays at 4:30 p.m. until mid-October. Copies of the Channel 16 program
will also be available for loan at all of the Fairfax County public
libraries beginning on Aug. 20. In addition to the Channel 16 program, a
brochure will be available on Aug. 20 in all public libraries or by
calling 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. Each homeowners association in
Fairfax County will receive an information packet to share with their
members, and information is available on the county's Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes.
Information will also be sent to interested businesses via an automated subscription list currently used to provide updates to the land development and building construction industry on changes to county regulations. Businesses who would like to subscribe to the list should visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes, click on "Publications" at the top of the page and then click on "Letters to Industry." The information sent through this automated list is designed for architects, engineers, surveyors, developers, builders and contractors, but the list is open to everyone.
The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is currently performing field studies to identify perennial streams throughout the county and update the county maps showing RPAs. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by Nov. 17, 2003, when the amendments become effective. An interim guidance map has been prepared to assist those interested in determining the potential impacts of the adopted amendments on properties throughout the county. The interim map is available on the county's Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes.
The maps display the boundaries of the existing RPAs adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1993, the boundaries of RPAs based on the field studies to identify perennial streams which have been completed to date and the estimated boundaries of RPAs for areas where field studies will be conducted this summer and fall. The online maps will be updated every two months until all the field studies are complete. The maps display the general locations of RPA boundaries for planning purposes and the actual limits may be further refined by detailed field studies conducted at the time a plan is submitted to obtain a permit to develop a property.
Property owners will need their property tax map reference numbers to access the mapping information for their property. The numbers can be found on the county's Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta. Scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your address and click on "Search" - the resulting information will include the tax map reference number for the address entered.
If you have questions about the information campaign, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. For questions about the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance, the adopted amendments or the mapping of perennial streams, call the Office of Site Development Services, a division of the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, at 703-324-1720, TTY 711.