Fairfax County is considering a new stormwater management regulation that could affect some homeowners in the county.
The proposed regulation, which was the subject of a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Environment Committee meeting Tuesday, is just one part of the county’s proposed new stormwater ordinance.
The state is requiring all localities to adopt their own stormwater ordinances and take over reviews and inspections that the state had been conducting.
State law exempts single-lot home construction on land less than 1 acre from completing a stormwater management plan. However, the law also allows jurisdictions covered by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, which includes Fairfax, to impose some local regulations.
Current county code exempts lots that have up to 18 percent of the land covered by an impervious surface, such as a house or driveway. The amount of impervious surface affects how much water runs off the property.
County staff are recommending an option that would change the exemption to 18 percent of the land area or up to 2,500 square feet total.
This would allow more than 18 percent impervious surface on smaller lots, where the 18 percent limit would cap the allowed impervious surface at about 1,799 square feet.
When the overall stormwater ordinance is advertised for public hearing in September, county staff will also include stricter and less restrictive options for the infill development exemption.
The proposed rules wouldn’t prevent most people from adding on to their house or adding features like patios and decks, according to Paul Shirey, director of the code development and compliance division for the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.
It also would not affect existing homes, even if they are not in line with the regulations, Shirey said. The rule in question is aimed at infill development.
“This is not going to affect most people,” said Supervisor Penelope Gross (D-Mason), chairwoman of the board’s Environment Committee.
More information about the stormwater ordinance process is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/stormwaterordinance.htm.