The Board of
Supervisors adopted a resolution in 1996 to establish a
multi-phased program for surface water quality protection in
Fauquier County. That
program would result in the establishment of a Stormwater
Management Ordinance (SWMO) into the Fauquier County Code.
No deadline for completion was established.
However, since that time, it has become abundantly clear
with the development pace that the County now needs to have such
an ordinance in place.
In 1999 the
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) released
the Stormwater Management Handbook, which provided basic guidance
on how to comply with the regulations adopted by the General
At the conclusion of adopting the Erosion
and Sediment Control amendment to the Fauquier County Code in FY
2002, the Board of Supervisors included other related tasks
needing attention. One
of those tasks was the design and adoption of the requisite
Stormwater Management Ordinance (SWMO).
That task became a Department and County Engineer priority.
Note that the proposed ordinance, included as Attachment 1,
will be in addition to, but will not replace the Erosion and
Sediment Control Ordinance, both of which will be located in the
Fauquier County Code.
ordinance is based on the DCR model ordinance.
The proposal addresses and establishes countywide Best
Management Practices (BMP) for quality control, stormwater
management design requirements to address 2 and 10-year flooding,
criteria for redevelopment, and concept plans.
The baseline technical documents for establishing ordinance
design guidelines and made part of the proposed code regulations
by reference are the: Virginia
Stormwater Management Handbook (Prepared by the Virginia
Department of Conservation and Recreation), Northern Virginia BMP
Handbook (Prepared by the Northern Virginia Planning District
Commission and the Engineers and Surveyors’ Institute), and
Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook (Prepared by the
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation).
A draft SWMO has been submitted to the
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for
review and comment to ensure compliance with state requirements,
as they pertain to localities adopting a Stormwater Management (SWM)
program. The draft SWMO was approved by DCR with minor edits.
The revised draft SWMO was forwarded to the County
Attorney’s Office for review.
Recommended refinements from both DCR and the County
Attorney were incorporated into the draft SWMO.
A technical review
group was established to provide technical input and assist in
editing and critiquing the information contained in the draft SWMO.
This group included participants from large and small
engineering firms representing the interests of their clients, as
well as their own professional and technical backgrounds; the
independent builder/developer; environmental special interest
organizations; and relevant state agencies.
Two “Round-Table” meetings were held with this group
between February and March of this year.
Comments arising from the groups’ involvement have been
incorporated into a refined draft SWMO.
Planning Commission Review:
Commission had a March briefing and an April work session on the
draft ordinance, and completed the public hearing at the May
meeting. Comments arising out of these actions were incorporated
into the final draft SWMO (refer to section below entitled
“Comments from the Public”).
At the conclusion of its June meeting, the
Planning Commission forwarded the final draft SWMO to the Board of
Supervisors with two minor clarification edits and a
recommendation for approval.
from the Public:
The issue that raised the most concern has
been the use of the language that downstream properties and
waterways will be protected from “increases in volume, velocity,
and peak flow rate...” The objection is that there will be
increases in volume if any development occurs.
The staff’s position is that downstream properties need
to be protected from affects of upstream development.
The wording used in the proposed document is used in both
the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook and the
Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook written by DCR.
The staff and Planning Commission have retained the
language as presented in these documents.
second issue is with some of the definitions used in the proposed
ordinance. Some in
the engineering community believe that the definitions presented
are either confusing or too strict, while some believe we should
use the “federal” definitions for items.
The staff has chosen to use the state definitions that were
provided through the Virginia Department of Conservation and
Planning Commission concurs that, for consistency purposes, the
state definitions need to be used.
Any future changes to those state definitions need to be
reflected within the Fauquier County Code.