Vote NO - many concerns and issues are still unresolved
VOTE NO TO THE PROPOSED STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS
As professional engineers with a combined 60 years of experience in land development design, we are concerned that the overall results of the proposed stormwater management regulations to the development/construction industry will be detrimental, especially during the current economic climate. The overall impacts of these regulations include:
·Substantial increase in the cost to develop land
·Increased sprawl by requiring more land area to obtain equivalent uses
·Reduced potential for urban “in-fill” development
·Reduced potential for redevelopment
·Decreased land values by increasing development costs
·Increased taxes so localities can monitor, manage, and comply with the regulations
·Maintenance issues for an infinite number of BMP facilities
·New development forced to remedy a problem that is and has been contributed to by others, including agricultural users
·Inconclusive evidence that the Chesapeake Bay will be improved by these regulations over the existing regulations
In addition, the practical aspects of implementing these regulations are very disconcerting to those of us that must utilize them daily. Not only are the changes in water quality (pollutant loads) problematic to development, but the proposed changes to stormwater quantity are potentially unobtainable in many situations. The proposed Runoff Reduction Method spreadsheet for calculating compliance with the regulations appears to need more refinement. There are many questions with the regulations which need further explanation, such as:
·How was the new pollutant requirement of 0.28 lbs/yr derived and what evidence is there that this will provide significant benefit over the current 0.45 lbs/yr?
· Why is the new pollutant load requirement being imposed statewide when the entire State does not drain to the Chesapeake Bay?
·What are the guidelines for vesting a project that is in the middle of the approval process? Can a project with any type of approved plan by the date the regulations are implemented, such as a rezoning concept plan, site plan, Master plan, Conditional Subdivision plan, etc., be exempt from the new regulations?
·Why does all disturbed area, including grassed yards or turf, have to be managed for stormwater runoff? Why do undisturbed areas have to be in common area or preservation areas in order to receive credit?
·Can a project receive credit for off-site drainage area that is treated by on-site facilities? There is currently no provision in the spreadsheet for doing so.
· How are multiple drainage areas, BMPs, and outfalls accounted for on a single site? The spreadsheet is set up for only two drainage areas/outfalls on a site and does not allow the designer to add drainage areas. Larger sites will have many outfalls.
·Who determines whether a channel is stable or unstable and under what site conditions is this determination made?
·Why do the proposed regulations contradict the existing Virginia Erosion Control Manual MS-19 for stream channel protection and adequacy determination?
·The concept of detaining on-site flow volume to “forested” conditions for sites that were not forested prior to development is extreme. What is the basis for this requirement as opposed to detaining the post development conditions to the pre-development conditions?
Too many questions still exist with these regulations. For now efforts should be made to enforce the existing regulations.
The proposed Stormwater Management Regulations, specifically Part II, will negatively impact all aspects of development including engineers, surveyors, developers, home builders, home buyers, suppliers for construction materials, laborers, and even retailers. The economy in Virginia cannot handle these regulations at this time.
We urge you to NOT implement the proposed Stormwater Management Regulations.
YOUNGBLOOD, TYLER & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
Anne W. Tignor, P.E., President
John T. Cochran, P.E., Executive Vice President
W. Andrew Browning, P.E., Vice President of Engineering