WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION AREA OVERLAY DISTRICT

(WAMPOD)

PURPOSE: To protect the surface water reservoirs which provide drinking water to the County’s service districts from contamination due to inappropriate use of land.

METHOD: Identification of areas of land that are watersheds for existing or planned public drinking water reservoirs.  Once identified, the Board of Supervisors may place an overlay zoning district on the area.

PROCESS: Watershed management and protection areas are identified through study conducted by competent experts.  Area is referred by Board of Supervisors to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation on proposed ordinance enacting overlay district.  Board of Supervisors acts on recommendation of Planning Commission.  Like any proposed ordinance both Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hold public hearing prior to action on ordinance.

EFFECT: Imposition of a WAMPOD has the following effects:

  1. Prohibits certain uses that have a high potential of damage to the watershed and reservoir.  Those uses include-storage or disposal of hazardous wastes; automotive service stations; dry cleaning establishments; junk yards; disposal of septage or septic sludge.
  2. Special requirements for any development except a single family development include: watershed impact study; 200 foot wide buffer strips along tributary streams of reservoir; performance measures to ensure runoff control with letter of credit and agreement to ensure construction of control features.
  3. Certain uses are prohibited in buffer or within 500 feet of buffer including drainfields and septic tanks; dumpsters; fuel storage in excess of 50 gallons; sanitary landfills; manufacture or storage of petroleum based products; biologically accumulative poisons; substances highly lethal to mammalian or aquatic life.

ISSUES: The ordinance presents certain integration issues that should be studied and any negative or unintended consequences remedied.  These issues include:

  1. Impact on farms and farming practices should be closely examined.
  2. Cost to business.
  3. Staffing impacts to administer Ordinance.

STATUS: At its June meeting, the Board of Supervisors tabled action on a resolution referring the proposed Ordinance to the Planning Commission.  A work session on the proposed Ordinance will be held by the Board of Supervisors at its July meeting, with possible action to follow.