In its second discussion of the draft stream protection ordinance, the Board of Supervisors continued progress toward a Loudoun-specific end product. The Board has taken pains to protect homeowners and land owners from new or unintended burdens as they deliberate the elements of the ordinance. This comes after months of outreach, stakeholder sessions and considering stakeholder input. We support their attention to the needs of residents while also protecting our critical water resources to ensure a healthy economic base today and in the future.
Key homeowner protections in the streamside buffer area (RPA):
- Residents have a 150 sq. ft. cumulative exemption for small structures like sheds or gazebos in the stream buffer area, and a 500 sq. ft. exemption for playsets.
- The misunderstood and confusing yellow map tool intended to help locate perennial streams has been eliminated.
- Residents are exempt from erosion control measures for septic tank lines and drainage field repair.
- Buffers adjacent to all existing ponds have been removed.
- Based on the amount of a parcel covered by RPA, 2,500 sq. ft. or 5,000 sq. ft. of land disturbance/impervious area would be allowed in the landward portion of the RPA by Administrative Waiver with adequate mitigation. Without mitigation, an RPA Exception would be required.
- For the existing structures (including businesses) located in the RPA, 2,500 sq. ft. of disturbance is allowed in the 50 feet closest to the stream with an Administrative Waiver including a minor water quality impact assessment (no consultant or engineer required).
The Board is expected to continue deliberating at its April 5th meeting.