|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.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
via web posting @http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/comments.cfm?stageid=5070
and Regular Mail
August 20, 2009
The Regulatory Coordinator
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Re: Proposed Stormwater Management Regulations
I wish to register, by this letter, my significant opposition to the proposed DCR modifications, as currently written, to the statewide stormwater regulations.
I am a resident of Albemarle County and a principal in a 35 year old plus integrated real estate development, construction, management and finance firm. I am also a former board chair of our community hospital and its corporate parent, a board member of our local community foundation that makes significant grants to help facilitate affordable housing initiatives, a board member of our local local/private economic development partnership that seeks to replace and grow our region’s revenue tax base and maintain and create career ladder job opportunities, and I have also served on numerous city and county appointed committees over the years that have been charged with finding ways to better our community by addressing issues from water supply to protecting the rural areas and have included storm water management issues.
This background information is offered in support of my “bona fides” to comment on the proposed DCR modifications.
First, I first want to acknowledge my personal as well as our corporate responsibility to participate in the efforts of all contributors (including costs) to help maintain the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to otherwise preserve and protect the rivers and streams of the Commonwealth. By all contributors, I mean the development and construction industries, point source contributors, localities, business (including the industrial complex) and the agricultural industry. And I commend the efforts of DCR to address this important issue, while, at the same time, expressing my sincere concern with the current draft of the proposed modifications.
In my considered opinion, and at best, adoption of the proposed modifications in their current form will have the unintended consequences of:
· making implementation of the goals for hard fought, local Comprehensive Plans calling for more desired urban style higher densities unattainable;
· making affordable housing initiatives problematic;
· creating very difficult barriers for new and renovated public infrastructure - schools, libraries, fire and police facilities; and
· as a result of higher costs and even more permitting challenges, seriously jeopardizing the Commonwealth’s competiveness in the important task of maintaining and attracting business investment and the resultant job opportunities that provide growing and sustainable tax bases, without which, the Department’s goals cannot be achieved.
Most importantly, however, as currently drafted, the proposed modifications will most assuredly not result in the benefits suggested; only at the 25th year would there be achieved a very small percentage reduction in the current nutrient load reaching the Bay and then at an exorbitant cost, perhaps, of more than $2.0 BB.
I submit that there is virtually no daylight between the goals of the business and environmental communities on this issue. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers and streams of the Commonwealth is in all our best interests. The question is how best to achieve these goals.
For all of these reasons, I urge the Department to pay particular attention to the engineers and local officials who will be charged with the responsibility of implementing the regulations and who are opposed to the modifications by putting their adoption on hold. It will then be possible to continue engaging the broad based and growing coalition of businesses, industries and localities who oppose the modifications in their current form in an effort to reach consensus with those in support around modifications that truly will allow the goals of the Bay and the tributaries of the Commonwealth to be achieved.
I further urge that the final modifications reflect:
· a feasible and effective offsite trading mechanism that will have the benefit of providing more benefit to the Bay and in a far less timeframe;
· the different soil types in different parts of the states with a recognition that what might be needed or work in Hanover County won’t necessarily transfer to the Shenandoah Valley or Southwestern part of the Commonwealth;
· latitude for local Engineering Departments to modify or waive certain requirements in instances where they are impractical to implement, or where the best interests of localities can otherwise be achieved; and
· an important provision to “grandfather” those developments that have survived and secured local governmental approvals and have met the state standards for “vesting”.
Thank you very much for considering these suggestions..
Charles Rotgin, Jr.