Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board
Stormwater Management Regulations AS 9 VAC 25-870 [4 VAC 50 ‑ 60]
Action Amend Parts I, II, and III of the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations to address water quality and quantity and local stormwater management program criteria.
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 8/21/2009
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8/20/09  3:07 pm
Commenter: Steve Weinstock

virginia storm water management program proposed changes

Mr. Joseph Maroon


Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

203 Governor’s Street

Richmond, Virginia 23219


Dear Mr. Maroon:


I am writing to provide comments from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) on the proposed amendments to Virginia’s Stormwater Management Regulations.  


Our organization believes in a healthy balance of environmental, human, and economic sustainability.  We believe that our continued success as a Commonwealth requires properly understanding how land use decisions impact our economy as well as our ecology.  We strive to educate our members and our communities regarding best practices in the areas of sustainability, urban re-development, and growth-management to preserve the quality of life for our citizens and members.  We also believe that Virginia’s position atop the pro-business rankings is at risk because of a series of regulations that hamper the ability for Virginia to grow in a sustainable way.


More specifically, the proposed amendments to Virginia’s stormwater regulations conflict with a number of areas where commercial, residential, and industrial development professionals have made progress towards building more sustainable communities.  We believe the technical regulations as written, will actually discourage re-development within and around existing infrastructure and encourage sprawl.  A quick summary of some of the problems are as follows:

  • The regulations call for a statewide phosphorus standard of 0.28 lb/ac/yr.  This is an across the board standard making it far more onerous to create any places of high density or imperviousness.
  • The regulations call for retention standards of 1” of runoff (90% of storms) versus the current 1/2” of runoff (75%), mandating more open wet and dry ponds that are counterproductive in creating walkable places.
  • The regulations allow the localities to NOT use some of the toolbox options recommended by the state, such as cisterns, green roofs, etc.  This is likely to happen because they don’t want to be directly responsible for the many thousands of BMPs that these regulations would require.
  • The regulations consider any conversion of woods to parks, ballfields, yards, and open spaces, to be “managed turf”.  These managed turf areas will be deemed to be between 20-25% impervious, requiring more BMPs just for them, thus making it more expensive to develop.
  • The regulations ignore that a majority of the phosphorus delivered to the Chesapeake Bay is from agricultural uses.  

We respectfully request that the proposed changes be rejected.  We encourage the Department to more thoroughly study the regulations and propose more realistic standards to preserve water quality here in Virginia.   


Steve Weinstock, ICSC member 


CommentID: 9795