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 and addition of a
Stormwater Management Ordinance 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 related tasks is the design and adoption of
the requisite Stormwater Management Ordinance (SWMO) this year.
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 Best Management
Practices (BMP) countywide for quality control, stormwater
management design requirements to address two and ten 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 their 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 Legal
Department for review. Recommended
refinements from both DCR and County Legal were incorporated into
the draft SWMO.
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 both large and small,
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.
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”).
conclusion of its June meeting, the Planning Commission forwarded
the final draft SWMO to the Board of Supervisors with minor
clarification edits and a recommendation for approval.
Comments 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
staffs’ 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.