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  5:08 pm
Commenter: Lisa Anne Hawkins, Lenhart Obenshain PC

Proposed Stormwater Management Regulations

As an attorney licensed and actively practicing in Virginia, I am focusing my comments and expressed concern on the lack of any express vesting provisions in many aspects of the proposed stormwater regulations.   I fear that the regulations as written, without express vesting, could be interpreted to derail many beneficial projects for which local approvals are already in place but which cannot be brought into compliance with the new regulations without fundamental changes to their scope and configuration.  Even projects for which final subdivision plats and final site plans have already been approved could be at risk.   This cost of the regulations has not been considered or evaluated, and has substantial implications for the already struggling development community as well as the economic stability of the Commonwealth. 

I am not advocating vesting of all pending projects, but believe that projects in which substantial investments have already been made in reliance on existing regulations and existing local approvals (be they zoning, site plan, subdivision or otherwise) should be afforded some protections.  The legislature has created a vested rights framework in Virginia Code 15.2-2307 which should, as an absolute minimum, be followed to ensure that the regulations are not applied in a way that has unintended economic consequences.  I am concerned that, to my knowledge, little analysis or attention has been paid to the issue of vesting, and I encourage thoughtful consideration of that issue prior to adoption of the proposed regulations in their current form.  

CommentID: 9812